Local MP John Hayes has resigned from his post as Minister for Transport during Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle.
Mr Hayes (59), who represents South Holland and the Deepings, has been an MP for 20 years and has been a Government minister since 2010.
He told us today: “After speaking to Mrs May this morning, we agreed I would not be removed, I would offer my resignation. I think in these circumstances that was the right thing to do.
“I have often thought there are things you can say as a backbencher that you simply cannot say in Government when you are bound by collective responsibility.”
His roles have included Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, Energy and Climate Change, Minister Without Portfolio, Security and, since July 2016, Transport.
His responsibilities as Minister For Transport were High Speed Rail (HS2), Aviation, Europe and International, Maritime, Devolution, cycling and walking.
Mr Hayes is replaced at Transport by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s brother, Jo.
In his handwritten resignation letter, Mr Hayes said: “I write to resign from your Government following more than 18 years of continuing service on the front bench.
“I remember with pride what has been achieved, notably rebuilding the apprenticeship programme as Skills Minister, and piloting critical legislation through Parliament – the Energy Bill, the Infrastructure Bill and, as you know, the Investigatory Powers Bill. All these Acts continue to have effect in the national interest.
“Outside of the limits of ministerial office I will be free to make a case for the socially elevating conversation in which you know I believe. In particular, as we discussed, I hope to continue to assist with policy development and, as we agreed, devise and deliver with the Central Office team on means by which we can boost party membership.”
We agreed I would not be removed, I would offer my resignation. I think in these circumstances that was the right thing to doMP John Hayes
Mr Hayes’ political career started in 1985 when he was elected to Nottinghamshire County Council, and he served there for 13 years, standing down following his election to parliament.
He contested Derbyshire North East at the 1987 general election but was defeated by Labour’s Harry Barnes by 3,720 votes. He fought the same seat at the 1992 general election and although he increased the Tory vote, finished some 6,270 votes behind Barnes.
He became MP for the new constituency of South Holland and the Deepings in May 1997 and secured a sixth term in June 2017 with a majority of 70 per cent (24,897).
After several years as a front bench opposition MP his first Government position was as Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, which he held from May 2010 to September 2012.
He then was switched to Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, a position he held only until March 2013 when he was appointed Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office.
Hayes was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Transport in the reshuffle of July 2014 but after the 2015 general election, was moved to the Home Office, being appointed Minister of State for Security.
In the government formed by Theresa May in July 2016, Hayes was reshuffled back to the Department for Transport.
He lives in Moulton with wife Susan and two children, William and Edward, who both attend Spalding Grammar School.