UK Energy Minister Graham Stuart quits government ahead of election

Stuart is defending a 20,000 Conservative majority at the next election.

UK Energy Minister Graham Stuart quits government ahead of election

LONDON — Energy Minister Graham Stuart has stepped down from his role at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Stuart announced his decision to return to the backbenches on Friday afternoon, ending a ministerial career that spanned eight years.

His page-long resignation letter, posted on the social media site X, did not include any specific reasons for his departure.

Instead, the Beverly and Holderness MP said he wanted to focus on “campaigning on local issues,” and that he looks forward to “fighting and winning the seat later this year.”

Stuart has a near 20,000 majority, although recent polling analysis has shown that Labour could narrowly win the seat at the next general election, expected in the fall.

He said: “It’s been an enormous joy and privilege to serve as a minister over most of the last eight years. I’m proud of all we achieved as a government, not least being the first major economy to halve CO2 emissions.”

Stuart was appointed minister of state for energy security and net zero at the newly-formed DESNZ last February, and represented the U.K. at the COP 28 climate summit in Dubai in December.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked him for his service, saying: “I understand your desire to step down as a minister. These jobs are all-consuming and you have served in government almost continuously since 2016.”

Stuart will be replaced by Justin Tomlinson MP, a former minister for disabled people, 10 Downing Street said. In the same announcement, they said that Foreign Office Minister Andrew Mitchell will be “given the honorific title of deputy foreign secretary.”

Stuart’s previous government roles include as a minister for Europe and an assistant whip.