Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Responsibilities

The Northern Ireland Office is responsible for overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement and representing Northern Ireland interests at UK government level and UK government interests in Northern Ireland.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary reports to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Responsibilities are:

  • EU Exit

  • Security-related issues and casework

  • Legacy stakeholder management

  • Parliamentary liaison with Northern Ireland MPs the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, and other interested parliamentarians

Current role holder: Shailesh Vara MP

Shailesh Vara was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office on 9 January 2018. He served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions from July 2015 until July 2016 and at the Ministry of Justice from October 2013 until July 2016. He served as an Assistant Government Whip (HM Treasury) from May 2010 until September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire in 2005.

Education

Shailesh was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and Brunel University and qualified as a solicitor.

Career

He has served as a member of the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and during 2006 was Joint Secretary of the Conservative Backbench Group on Foreign affairs and became a Government Whip in 2010.

Personal life

Shailesh is married with two children.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Chloe Smith MP

    • 2017 to 2018
  2. Lord Dunlop

    • 2016 to 2017
  3. The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP

    • 2015 to 2016
  4. Dr Andrew Murrison

    • 2014 to 2015

Announcements

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  1. Minister Smith NICCY speech

    • Speech
  2. Autonomy of Hazardous Scene Assessment Phase 2 – ‘MINERVA’

    • News story
  3. Minister Smith attends new Board of Trade to ensure the benefits of free trade are spread throughout the UK

    • Press release
  4. Battle of Messines Ridge Centenary

    • Press release
  5. Dunlop sees 'moment of opportunity' for Northern Ireland business

    • Press release
  6. Ten reasons why Northern Ireland is safer, stronger and better off in the EU

    • News story
  7. NI stronger, safer and better off in a reformed EU

    • News story
  8. Wallace - Appointment extension of Chief Electoral Officer for NI

    • Press release
  9. Northern Ireland space firm on a mission

    • News story
  10. Villiers: Situation looks grim

    • News story