OT minister to leave politics

| 11/08/2014

(CNS): The Foreign Office minister with responsibility for the UK's overseas territories has resigned citing a lack of support for ministers who live outside London with families. Mark Simmonds (left), who also had responsibility for Africa, had reportedly told the UK Prime Minister of his intention to leave his ministerial post as well as the political arena "several weeks ago" and before Baroness Warsi, another FCO minister, resigned over the Coalition government's handling of the latest Gaza crisis, which she described as "morally indefensible. The FCO told CNS Monday that although James Duddridge (below) has been appointed as Africa minister, he has not yet been given responsibility for the overseas territories — a job which may go to another junior FCO minister.

An FCO media spokesperson said it may be a "few more days" before that job was assigned but officials would release the information as soon as possible.

According to UK news reports, Simmonds' desire to walk away from politics is because he wants to "provide for his family". Usually a euphemism for something else, Simmonds' decision may be more honest than most, as he described the lack of support for family MPs with constituencies some distance from the capital as "intolerable".

The 50 year old minister recently survived a Cabinet reshuffle, despite being involved in a critical missed vote earlier this year regarding the UK government's position on Syria.

However, the Conservative member for Boston and Skegness is now not just leaving his ministry post but he is also quitting his seat and will not run for office in the general election next year. In a letter to David Cameron allegedly dated 4 August, Simmonds said he would "remain supportive" of the Conservative led coalition and the Conservative Party.

In a statement to constituents, he said that "despite the enjoyment" of the job, "the lack of support available to MPs with families outside of London and the sacrifice to my family life, has become intolerable. At this stage, I need to focus on providing for my family."

Talking about what he had achieved in his job, he said that he had enhanced the partnership between the UK and the overseas territories

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  1. Anonymous says:

    James Duddridge MP has been appointed as the Minister for Africa and the Overseas Territories – see Gov.UK/government/people/james-duddridge

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some of Cayman's Ministers like Osbourne, Tara, Alden, Moses, Marco, Wayne and Kirk need to resign as well but for different reasons.

    • Wrong Way says:

      I agree with you except on the point of Marco Archer. He is one of the few ministers that is actually doing the job expected.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, I have a lot of respect for Marco and think he isdoing a great job. He should be in that position for the long haul I think – for the benefit of the islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        He does need to consider showing up for important votes like OMOV  and not hiding behind lame excuses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, UDP shill. Marco for one is doing an excellent job.

      • Anonymous says:

        Marco may have you fooled, but he hasn't fooled the business owners.  He is making it very difficult for the small businessman to succeed which means less jobs for everyone.  Maybe the UDP is using him to make PPM ineffective.

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL. What a moron. Explain how Marco is making difficult for small businessmen to succeed. Marco is the most effective Minister in the PPM govt.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Trying to put all the blame on Marco for PPM policies. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Watch out for those long knives, Marco, obviously those people around you cannot be trusted.   

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman gets to them every time…

  4. Anonymous says:

    So much cynicism. The gentleman is leaving because he wants to put his family before his position. Would that many more others did the same. The world would be a better place, for sure.

    Good luck, Mr.Simmons, and thank you for your service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously written by someone who has no idea how UK politics work. An excuse like this normally means the MP concerned has been caught doing something they shouldn't and given an easy way out so as not to embarrass the government. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mmmm ….. laughter = cynicism, clearly. A fool is easily amused.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For 'the lack of support available to MPs with families outside of London' read 'I'm not making enough money'. This is no loss to either the OTs or Pariament.

    It's worth checking out the stories on Simmonds in the Telegraph and Guardian today.


    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely worthwhile checking these newspaper stories, yes. But then make your own mind up, okay?

  6. Anonymous says:

    People need to stop describing the relationship between the UK and overseas territories as a partnership.  The reality is that the relationship is closer to that of an abusive husband and an abused wife.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think a more accurate description would be a large mammal and an annoying parasitic insect.

      • Anonymous says:

        I beg to differ,Cayman has never lived off the Mother Country. I think it has been the other way around. Heck, we even sent her pds.stg. 1,000,000.00 to help out with the Falklands war. Perhaps you are too young to know about that so I will excuse your ignorance.

        • Anonymous says:

          And they stopped certain Caymanians trying to run off with the silver by imposing BUDGETS and TRANSPARENCY..and even then there is resistance to it- certain people want to stay on the gravy chain at any cost

        • Anonymous says:

          The £1m was nothing compared to the revenues stolen from the Inland Revenue by the parasite in question.

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL. What rubbish! Cayman has not "stolen" any monies from the Inland Revenue. It is called tax competition. 

      • Dread on Dread says:

        What a strange way to describe your present residence eh, perhaps you'd like to live somewhere else? There are many flights leaving and coming bobo take ya pick will ya before you too late.

        • Anonymous says:

          Come, come.  I am doing my bit for England with the daily communications.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would compare it more to a host and a virus. UK lives happily immune to the effects of the virus and goes around infecting all areas of the globe with this virus. For the weak, like the Indian's of the Americas a slow death is realised and your wealth and resources consumed by the mighty London. London agian is friends (if you can't beat them join them friends) with the estranged cousins in New York , Miami and SFand a cohort of commonwealth/Europe with the same bend. 

        The host becomes upset from time to time when the virus gives it the cold and curses it but keeps it. For it is far better to keep something that makes other including some of its own organs sick then to cure the virus and let the others develop their own virus (eerrr China)

        When it is your virus, your just sick but living when it is someone elses your afraid. Plus its distracting to voters to point to a nice sandy place and say see them on the beach those ticks 5 years later the pesky ticks are still around. 

        From your comment, you got sold a good one! Now back to work be a happy virus ours not theirs. For you don't want to be a Dubai virus next!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good Riddance!

  8. Anonymous says:

    It appears that every year – a new overseas minister is changed in London. By the time some kind of relationship is forged with our overseas territories, he or she is re-shuffled within cabinet, resigned or gone elsewhere. I guess there is more confusion and instability in London than we are made to believe.






    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it's the transitory nature of things these days, I suppose. I mean, I'm typing this as an impoverished retired teacher here in Cayman. Tomorrow I could scratch a card in a gas station in Florida and become a millionare. I live in hope is all I can say, literally.