Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris will not stand at next election

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has said he won't be standing at the next general election but will keep campaigning for the Conservative Party.

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, which he posted on X on Saturday night, Mr Heaton-Harris said after 24 years in politics, it had been an "honour and a privilege to serve".

He thanked the people of Daventry, Mr Sunak and former Tory leaders, including Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, "for putting their trust in me".

Mr Heaton-Harris, who has been serving as Northern Ireland secretary since September 2022, said: "I started as a campaigner and I'll be out campaigning for @Conservatives at the next election because we are the only party that has and can deliver for the whole of the United Kingdom."

He joins an exodus of Tory politicians who have announced they will be leaving Westminster at the next general election.

More than 100 MPs from across the Commons have said they will not be standing.

Those who have announced their intention to leave parliament range from the longest-serving female MP, Labour's Harriet Harman, to one of those only elected at the last election in 2019, Conservative MP Dehenna Davison.

Of the more than 60 Tory MPs stepping aside, high profile names include former cabinet ministers Ben Wallace, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Back in March, Mrs May, 67, said she too had taken the "difficult decision" to quit the Commons after 27 years representing her Maidenhead constituency.

The last possible day for a general election is Tuesday 28 January 2025.