East Antrim DUP MLA resigns as Stormont Junior Minister

East Antrim DUP MLA Gordon Lyons has announced his resignation with immediate effect as a Northern Ireland Executive Junior Minister.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:09 pm

Detailing the move in a post on social media this afternoon (Thursday), Mr Lyons said: “Now there is a new First Minister and Deputy First Minister in place, I have resigned as Junior Minister in the Executive Office.

“I’m very grateful to Arlene Foster for the opportunity to serve Northern Ireland in this way and want to express my thanks to the very dedicated team of NI Civil Service staff I worked with and in particular my private office staff.”

When devolution was restored in January 2020, the then First Minister Arlene Foster appointed Mr Lyons as Junior Minister in the Executive Office.

Gordon Lyons MLA. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Gordon Lyons MLA. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

After Mrs Foster’s leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party was challenged and Edwin Poots was elected as party leader, Mr Lyons was appointed Vice Chair of Stormont’s Health Committee during the recent party reshuffle on June 8.

Mr Lyons, who has served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly since 2015, paid tribute to Mrs Foster during a speech at Stormont as she stood down from the office of First Minister on June 14.

Mr Lyons praised the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA for the “grace and class” she had shown over recent weeks.

Earlier this year the East Antrim representative served as Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs while Edwin Poots stood down from the role to facilitate surgery and recuperation from cancer.

For more on this story, read here

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