Conor Murphy stands down as Economy Minister, Deirdre Hargey to take over on an interim basis

First Minister Michelle O'Neill has announced that the Minister for the Economy Conor Murphy will stand down from his role in the Executive on medical grounds, with Deirdre Hargey to take over on an interim basis.

Sinn Féin Economy Minister Conor Murphy is to stand down from his position in the Northern Ireland Executive on medical grounds, the First Minister has tonight confirmed.

In a statement released by the Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O’Neill, she confirmed that he has stepped down immediately.

“Conor Murphy is standing down as Minister tonight on medical grounds.

“Conor has been advised by his doctor to rest and will undergo further medical tests.

“My colleagues and I all wish Conor a full and speedy recovery.

“I am nominating Deirdre Hargey to step in as Economy Minister on an interim basis pending Conor’s return.” 

– Michelle O’Neill MLA, First Minister

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the minister could not attend the Covid inquiry after advice from his doctor.

Murphy has served in the Northern Ireland Executive a number of times, most recently as Minister for the Economy, but also as Minister of Finance between 2020 and 2022.

Deirdre Hargey MLA will take over as Economy Minister in the interim period

Deirdre Hargey served as Minister for Communities in the previous Executive from 2020 until 2022, and will now join her colleagues Caoimhe Archibald and John O’Dowd at the Executive table.

Reaction from party leaders

Doug Beattie, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), has said that he “wishes Conor well and hopes he makes a speedy recovery”.

Leader of the opposition in the Assembly, the SDLP‘s Matthew O’Toole said, ” I wish Conor well for a speedy recovery.”

“Absolutely right to prioritise his health and hope to see him back at his desk and in the chamber when he’s ready.”

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith sent his best wishes to Conor and his family in a post on X.

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