South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland’s last major job in parliament, apart from being an MP, was as the Secretary of State for Wales - a post he held from July last year until the end of the Liz Truss government in October.

Now the Llanelli-born MP’s focus has moved across the Irish Sea, after he was elected unopposed as the chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday.

Select Committees are made up of backbench MPs and can compel witnesses to attend and answer questions, but can only ask ministers, who are representatives of the Crown and are therefore exempt.

But committees can be powerful as they are able to put ministers and even Prime Ministers on the spot with detailed questions.

Sir Robert said: “I am delighted to have been elected unopposed as chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee. 

“I am a strong Unionist but believe in working with all communities and as there is no functioning government at Stormont, the committee’s work is particularly important.

“This work is all part of my active and visible contribution to parliamentary life, talking about Swindon and wider issues on the national stage.”