Chris Heaton-Harris is to be Northern Ireland’s new Foreign Secretary, Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns has confirmed.
r Heaton-Harris, 54, is currently Chief Whip of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons and previously served as Foreign Secretary under Ms Truss as Secretary of State for Europe and North America.
He represents the constituency of Daventry, England.
The appointment of the married father of two was made by Ms Truss on Tuesday afternoon after her opening speech as Prime Minister was formally introduced to the role by the Queen at Balmoral earlier this morning.
Mr Heaton-Harris, a self-proclaimed “fierce Eurosceptic”, was tipped to take on the role on Tuesday morning after Ms Truss reportedly offered the role to a number of candidates including former Conservative Party leadership rival Penny Mordaunt who had reportedly turned it down.
He joins other cabinet members such as Kwasi Kwarteng and Therse Coffey who have also taken on new roles in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.
Mr Heaton-Harris will become Northern Ireland’s 18th Foreign Secretary, replacing the outgoing Shaliesh Vara, who has held the role since July after replacing Brandon Lewis, who has resigned.
On stepping down, Mr Vara said it was “a great privilege and honor for him to serve as Foreign Secretary in the Northern Ireland office and to work with some excellent people”.
Who is Chris Heaton Harris?
Born Christopher Heaton-Harris in Epsom, Surrey, the new NI Secretary worked and eventually managed his family’s wholesale fruit and vegetable business at the New Convent Market before entering politics.
He was first elected as a Tory MP for Daventry at the 2010 general election and has been re-elected at every general election since.
According to his website, Mr Heaton-Harris has been an active and qualified football referee for 32 years, directing the game at various levels. He is currently a referee for the Northampshire Combination League and 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 Parliament for the East Midlands region, Co-Chair of the Fresh Start Project, Chair of the Conservatives’ European Research Group MPs, Assistant Government Whip
Controller of Her Majesty’s Budget and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Withdrawal from the EU.
Known for his advocacy of “smaller government and responsible spending,” he describes himself as a “passionate localist.”
Mr Heaton-Harris visited Northern Ireland earlier this year with future Prime Minister and then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to look at the “impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/who-is-chris-heaton-harris-all-you-need-to-know-about-northern-irelands-new-secretary-of-state-41967293.html Chris Heaton-Harris: Everything you need to know about Northern Ireland’s new Foreign Secretary