Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is a member of the British Shadow Cabinet responsible for the scrutiny of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and their department, the Northern Ireland Office. The post is currently held by Louise Haigh, following the resignation of Tony Lloyd. The holder is assisted by junior shadow ministers in the Commons and in the Lords.
|Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland|
|Appointer||Leader of the Opposition|
|Inaugural holder||Merlyn Rees|
|Formation||24 March 1972|
|Website||The Shadow Cabinet|
Until recently there had been a 'bi-partisan' attitude to Northern Ireland affairs in the House of Commons but the role is influenced by the relationship between the main Official Opposition and parties in the country. The Conservative Party, for example, generally supports the unionist cause and in 2008 re-formalised a (since ended) link with the Ulster Unionist Party and relied on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party until the 2019 United Kingdom General Election in the House of Commons, while Labour has traditionally supported Irish nationalism and is loosely allied to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The Liberal Democrats are linked with the cross-community Alliance Party.