MESSAGES of thanks have been sent to MP Louise Haigh from political leaders across Britain and Ireland as she leaves her position as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary following the recent Labour Party reshuffle.
Earlier this week Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced some key changes to his shadow cabinet.
The moves included Yvette Cooper returning to Labour’s frontbench as shadow home secretary, and former shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds taking on international trade
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh now moves to the Shadow Transport Secretary brief, making way for former Shadow Schools Minister Peter Kyle to step in the Northern Ireland role.
Regarding her move Ms Haigh said: “It has been an incredible honour to serve as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary.
“I have met the most amazing people and committed to building peace and relationships across these islands.”
She added: “And it was such a privilege to defend Labour’s legacy on the Good Friday Agreement and its vision for a shared future.”
This week political leaders sent messages of thanks to Ms Haigh, who had held the Northern Ireland post for just over a year and a half, having been appointed in April 2020.
In a statement the Executive Committee of the Labour Party Irish Society, said: “Huge thanks to Louise for her work during her time in this role. Louise has been a fantastic advocate for building relationships across these islands and has always understood the importance of those relationships to the Irish community in Britain too.
Labour’s Alex Davies-Jones MP, the Shadow Northern Ireland Minister, added: “It’s been the biggest honour to serve under Lou in her role as Shadow NI Secretary.
“Her commitment to the people of Northern Ireland was exemplary and I know that Peter Kyle will follow her lead in doing what is right – and will put the people of Northern Ireland first”
Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minsiter Simon Coveney also sent a message or Ms Haigh, stating: “Louise, thank you for your work and commitment to everyone in Northern Ireland.
“Good luck in the future. We’ll see you in Cork yet!”
Minister Coveney was referencing Ms Haigh’s recent visit to Dublin where she took a tour of Croke Park stadium.
During the tour she was presented with a Cork GAA jersey by GAA President Larry McCarthy, in honour of her Irish roots.
Ms Haigh’s grandmother hailed from Cork.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood also paid tribute to her work this week.
“Sorry to hear Louise Haigh is leaving the NI brief,” he said.
“Very rarely does a British politician get the North – Louise got it and always advocated for a sensible approach from London.”