THE UK Government minister for regional growth and local government has resigned.

Simon Clarke announced he was stepping down from his post for "personal reasons" this afternoon.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Clarke said: “My decision has been prompted by purely personal reasons; like all of us, I have to balance my own life against the demands of the office. I would not have made this decision unless I believed it was of the utmost importance." 

He continued by praising Boris Johnson, who he said he admired “very deeply”.

He added: “I hope that in time, I might have the opportunity to serve in your Government again. Whatever the future holds, you can be assured of my deepest loyalty, affection and friendship from the backbenches.”

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has served as a minister since February, previously holding a role as  Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.