The chief minister has asked Chris Thomas to step down from his role as infrastructure minister.

Alfred Cannan will take over responsibility for the department in the short term.

In a statement issued this morning, Mr Cannan said: 'It has become increasingly clear that the DOI with its varying range of responsibilities remains a difficult department to oversee and effectively lead and, as I have made clear previously, is in need of reform.'

'Whilst I am very grateful for the work that Chris Thomas has undertaken to review some areas of operations, there are many matters that now need to be refreshed and reconsidered to determine a clarity of direction that will ensure the effective delivery of services into the future. 

'It is now therefore my intention to assume (in the short term) Ministerial responsibility for the Department and initiate a more rapid reform process.  This will include consideration of the allocation of responsibility for services across Government and the creation of different oversight mechanisms.'

'I want to thank Chris for his contribution. I have no doubt that he will continue to input effectively on public policy debates and I hope that we can work together again in the future.'

Chris thomas has been infrastructure minister since June 2022.