Louise Haigh appointed interim shadow NI Secretary

Yorkshire born MP Louise Haigh.

YORKSHIRE-born MP Louise Haigh has been appointed as interim shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland after MP Tony Lloyd was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Sir Keir Starmer, who was appointed Labour leader on Saturday, announced today the MP for Sheffield Heeley will serve as the party's interim shadow minister.

Rochdale MP Mr Lloyd (70) is currently being cared for at Manchester Royal Infirmary having been admitted suffering from Covid-19.

A statement from Mr Lloyd's family said: "He is stable and responding to the treatment and dedicated care that he is receiving from the brilliant doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff at the hospital."

Sir Keir is a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland, having served from 2003-2008, as human rights advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

In 2015 he was asked by former Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory to investigate three connected cases involving sex abuse and terrorist-related charges following the collapse of a rape case involving Mairia Cahill, who waived her right to anonymity.

Ms Haigh was elected to Westminster in 2015 at the age of 25 and was the youngest Labour member of that parliament. She has previously served as the Shadow Minister of State for Policing.

Ms Haigh said: "All my thoughts are with Tony and his family for his recover" adding he that her colleague is "a firm friend of the communities of Northern Ireland".

"I’ll continue to work constructively with the political leaders, and with the UK and Irish governments on behalf of UK Labour," she said.

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