James Heappey to quit as British Armed Forces Minister amid row over defence spending

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey MP. Photographer: Cpl Paul Watson, Royal Logistics Corps - UK MOD © Crown copyright

James Heappey is poised to resign from his position as Armed Forces minister this month and will not seek re-election as an MP in the upcoming election, citing a divergence over defence spending as the primary reason.

Having served in the role since February 2020, the former soldier has decided to transition to a different career path, delivering a significant setback to Rishi Sunak’s administration.

In a letter addressed to his local Tory association in Wells, Somerset, Heappey emphasised the need to prioritise his family and expressed his intention to step away from politics.

Mr Heappey wrote on Twitter: “Some news from me: A painful decision but the next election is the time for me to step away from politics, prioritise my family and pursue a new career. I’ll forever be grateful for the incredible opportunity to serve this amazing constituency in Westminster.”

Regarded as one of the Government’s most reliable figures, Heappey becomes the 62nd Conservative MP to announce their departure ahead of the next General Election.

While concerns have been raised by some Tory MPs regarding defence expenditure in recent weeks, insiders close to Mr Heappey have stressed that his resignation does not stem from a protest over military funding.


  1. Translation of Mr Heappey’s letter:
    “There’s zero chance of retaining my seat at the next election, so I’d better start looking for a job right now”.


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