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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Aletha Adu Political corespondent

Dehenna Davison resigns as minister, citing struggle with chronic migraine

Dehenna Davison holding her mobile phone.
‘As my capacity is currently diminished, it feels right to focus it on my constituents and promoting conservativism from the backbenches,’ says Dehenna Davison. Photograph: Imageplotter/Alamy

The levelling up minister Dehenna Davison has resigned from government as she revealed her ongoing struggle with chronic migraine.

The 30-year-old MP for Bishop Auckland had been widely touted as a rising star within the Conservative party, having achieved a junior ministerial role at the age of 29.

She was brought in to government by the former prime minister Liz Truss and was kept in the levelling up department when Rishi Sunak took over at No 10.

In her resignation letter to Sunak, Davison said her health condition on some days made it “difficult, if not impossible to keep up with the demands of ministerial life”.

“Unfortunately, for some time now I have been battling with chronic migraine, which has had a great impact on my ability to carry out the role. Some days I’m fine, but on others it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with the demands of ministerial life – and the timing of such days is never predictable,” she wrote.

“Though I have tried to mitigate, and am grateful to colleagues for their patience at times, I don’t feel it is right to continue in the role. At such a critical time for levelling up, I believe the people of communities like mine, and across the country, deserve a minister who can give the job the energy it needs. I regret that I no longer can.

“And as my capacity is currently diminished, it feels right to focus it on my constituents and promoting conservatism from the backbenches.”

Last November, Davison announced her intention to stand down at the next election, surprising many within the party given her prominence within the “red wall”.

She became Bishop Auckland’s first Conservative MP with a majority of 7,962, one of the hard-won previous Labour strongholds.

Davison said she would use the rest of her time in parliament to champion the cause of “better justice and support for one-punch assault victims and their families”. Her father was killed by a single punch during an attack in a pub in Sheffield when she was 13.

Downing Street has announced that Jacob Young, the MP for Redcar, will replace her in the post.

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