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Ben Riley-Smith, our political correspondent, has this on (another) surprise resignation just made in the House of Commons.
Alistair Burt, the junior health minister, has announced he will resign from the front bench when a new Conservative leader is installed.
In a surprise announcement, the MP for North East Bedfordshire said he made the decision before the EU referendum and it was not a “sudden post-Brexit resignation”.
Mr Burt said he hopes to stay in post until a new party leader is selected in September and will continue as a backbench MP after that.
At the end of oral questions to health ministers, Mr Burst said: “Could I perhaps indulge the slightly more relaxed atmosphere of the House just to offer a broad thank you?
“24 years and one month ago I answered my first question as a junior minister in the House in oral questions and I’ve just completed my last oral questions.
“This is not a sudden post-Brexit resignation. It’s not catching. A few weeks ago I made clear to the Secretary of State and to the Prime Minister and the Chief Whip that I wouldn’t after the referendum be seeking a post in what I expected to be a reshuffle government.
He went on to thank MPs for their questions throughout his ministerial career, which begun as social security minister under Sir John Major in 1992.
He said: “Taking the chance that most ministers don’t get because we never know when the end will come, could I thank colleagues for their forbearance over many years in subjects as varied as child support, disability, the Arab Spring and the relentless pursuit of mental health data from the honourable lady from Liverpool Wavertree.”
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