Health Minister Robin Swann will step down before the general election campaign starts

Ulster Unionist Robin Swann is to step down as Health Minister when his general election campaign starts; He will be standing for the UUP in South Antrim in an attempt to gain the seat from the DUP's Paul Girvan.

Robin Swann has indicated that he will step down from his role as Health Minister at the start of his general election campaign.

Swann is to stand for election to Westminster for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in South Antrim, a seat currently held by the Democratic Unionist Party‘s Paul Girvan.

He told BBC Sunday Politics that when the election is called, and when the election period begins, he will give up his seat at the Northern Ireland Executive.

Mike Nesbitt was appointed as the Health Ministers Private Secretary on 8 April 2024

Nesbitt is a former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and is now the front-runner to replace Robin Swann as Health Minister.

Robin Swann said that deciding who should replace him in the Northern Ireland Executive was a decision for his party leader, Doug Beattie.

“I need to be clear as well when we talk about Westminster candidates and the current executive.

“If you look across other parties and constituencies as well, it’s obvious that some of the executive colleagues sitting around the executive table at the minute are also going to be candidates.

“One of the things we’ve done as a party, one of the things that I’ve done, we’ve actually come out and said it and been honest with the people.”

– Robin Swann MLA, Health Minister

Mr Swann served as Health Minister throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and was re-appointed when power-sharing was re-established earlier this year.

He is widely seen as one of the UUP’s most well-liked politicians, so the decision to move him to South Antrim – a more winnable seat for them – is a tactic from the party leader to get the Ulster Unionists back in Westminster.

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