New secretary of state appointed following reshuffle

10 January, 2018, 02:12 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • CBI NI response to the appointment of Minister Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

She replaces James Brokenshire as Northern Ireland Secretary, following his resignation due to ill health.

His decision to quit will be seen as a major blow for Prime Minister Theresa May as she embarked on a much trumpeted reshuffle of her team of ministers. It is now a year since Northern Ireland has had an effective, functioning power-sharing administration, and forming a Northern Ireland Executive, to deliver for the benefit of all, is my top priority.

A law graduate, Mr Brokenshire worked as a partner at worldwide law firm Jones Day before going into politics.

"While the operation is expected to address the issue and I will get back to work relativley quickly, recovering from surgery and regaining my strength will take several weeks", he wrote.

A source close to Mr Brokenshire said: "He has a small lesion on his right lung and is getting major surgery in the next couple of weeks".

In November, Brokenshire was forced to begin setting a budget for the province, but he said a return to direct rule could still be avoided.

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"In the coming days, I look forward to meeting many different people, parties and other groups as I take on this hugely important and exciting role in the Prime Minister's government".

Why did James Brokenshire resign from the Cabinet?

Everyone will wish him well in the months ahead. Even a writer for the Tory-friendly magazine The Spectator agrees, labelling his performance in the north as "hapless" and describing the 50-year-old as "out of his depth". "I trust James will have the surgery he needs and will make a full recovery", Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist Party Leader, said.

Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, Bradley has been secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport since July 2016.

"James leaves the role with a very intimate knowledge of Northern Ireland and I look forward to working with him again in the future".

He said his decision to step down was the right thing to do.

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