Ministerial role

Minister of State for Northern Ireland


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 Minister of State 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: John Penrose MP

John Penrose was appointed to be a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office on 16 November 2018.

He was appointed the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion in December 2017. John was first elected as MP for Weston, Worle and the Villages in 2005.


John attended Ipswich School before studying law at Cambridge University. He also received an MBA at Columbia University, New York.

Career outside politics

Before entering Parliament, John had an extensive business career, which included roles at:

  • J P Morgan (risk management on a bank trading floor)
  • McKinsey (strategic management consultancy)
  • Thompson (academic book publishing)
  • Pearson PLC (Managing Director of Longman’s schoolbook publishing operations)

John also helped found Credit Market Analysis (publishing credit data for financial firms).

Personal life

John is married with 2 children. In his spare time he enjoys fishing and beekeeping.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Shailesh Vara MP

    • 2018 to 2018
  2. Chloe Smith MP

    • 2017 to 2018
  3. Lord Dunlop

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

    • 2015 to 2016
  5. Dr Andrew Murrison

    • 2014 to 2015


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