‘True unionist’: Lord Caine welcomed as junior minister

The appoinment of “true unionist” Lord Caine as a junior minister at the NIO has been welcomed by senior Ulster Unionist figures.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 7th November 2021, 1:06 pm
The former NIO advisor Jonathan Caine (Lord Caine) asks a question in the House of Lords, on October 28 2019. Screen grab from Parliament TV
The former NIO advisor Jonathan Caine (Lord Caine) asks a question in the House of Lords, on October 28 2019. Screen grab from Parliament TV

UUP leader Doug Beattie said the Conservative peer has a “deep understanding” of Northern Ireland politics, while Lord Empey described Lord Caine’s experience as “invaluable”.

Mr Beattie said: “He has a deep understanding of the political complexities of Northern Ireland having been involved in all sorts of negotiations over many years.

“There has been no Minister answering questions for Northern Ireland in the House of Lords since Lord Duncan left and with forthcoming legislation, it is vital for that gap to be filled.”

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Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey, said: “I have known Lord Caine for many years and he is a true unionist committed to strengthening Northern Ireland`s ties as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

“He will bring a balanced approach and the experience he has will be invaluable.”

Announcing the appointment, the NIO said Lord Caine had been appointed as new “Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office,” as approved by the Queen.

NI Secretary Brandon Lewis has also welcomed the “experience, knowledge and expertise on Northern Ireland” Lord Caine will bring as “a tremendous asset to the department.”

Lord Caine said: “Northern Ireland has been my predominant political interest over a period of more than 30 years. I retain huge affection for it and for its people and am convinced that Northern Ireland’s best days lie ahead.”

He added: “I look forward to working with Brandon Lewis and his team, and with people right across the community, to help build a stronger, more prosperous and united future for everyone.”