Shailesh Vara was only in the job for 2 months, he had the shortest stay ever as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The new official cat herder is Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry.
Mr Heaton-Harris (54) is currently the Conservative Party’s chief whip of the House of Commons and previously served as Minister of State for Europe and North American under Ms Truss when she was Foreign Secretary.
Born Christopher Heaton-Harris in Epsom, Surrey, the new NI Secretary worked and eventually ran his family’s whole sale fruit and vegetable company in New Convent Market before entering politics.
He was first elected as a Tory MP in the 2010 General Election for Daventry, and has been re-elected to the seat in every general election since.
Mr Heaton-Harris, according to his website, has been an active and qualified football referee for 32 years, officiating the game at various different levels. He is a current referee for Northampshire Combination League and serves as President of Earls Barton Football Club.
Throughout his political career, the new man reporting to Liz Truss on behalf of Northern Ireland has held numerous titles, including Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands Region, Co-Chairman of the Fresh Start Project, Chairman of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs, Assistant Government Whip
Controller of Her Majesty’s Household and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the EU.
He is known for his advocacy of “smaller government and responsible spending” and describes himself as a “passionate localist”.
I am sure you will all wish him well.
Congratulations @chhcalling on his appointment as SoS for Northern Ireland. Spent some of today making sure prep was in hand for @NIOgov Oral questions tomorrow morning. Chris is a good man and a friend. Look forward to supporting him in the chamber. pic.twitter.com/993XPhUHw8
— Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) September 6, 2022
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.