British PM names new minister for Northern Ireland

13 January, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Karen Bradley is on her first working day in NI

UK's Northern Ireland Minister James Brokenshire quit his post on Monday, citing poor health.

"I have a small lesion in my right lung which needs to be removed".

He added: "I recognise that as a result of my forthcoming surgery I will not be able to give the effort, energy and complete focus needed at this important time if we are to secure the positive outcomes both you and I are committed to achieving".

I believe a devolved government in Belfast is best placed to address these issues and take the key decisions which affect people's day to day lives - whether these relate to the economy, public services or issues of policing and justice.

"There is an urgent need to re-start talks between the parties", Brokenshire said of the stalled talks between the pro-UK Democratic Unionists and the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein, the antipathetic bedfellows who must share power in Northern Ireland in accordance with the 1998 peace deal that put an end to decades of bloody conflict in the region.

"I think an bad lot has happened in the year - two elections - we've had a very clear mandate in relation to the way forward".

"We have made it clear to the Secretary of State that if Sinn Fein continues to block the restoration of devolution then a return to Direct Rule is an unfortunate, but inevitable effect and the Government must move to appoint ministers". "I have had a very good run and I enjoyed it immensely".

Northern Ireland has been without a regional government for nearly a year, destabilising the delicate balance between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists that has been shaken by Britain's June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

"I want to find a way through this because the absolute priority is to restore devolved government as soon as possible", she said.

As well as the issues above, the two parties are divided on Brexit.

Speaking about her appointment, Ms Baradley said: "A key part of my role will be to help build a Northern Ireland that is fit for the future and works for everyone".

The British and Irish Governments had been expected to kickstart another bid to restore devolution after several rounds of talks previous year failed to produce a deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein. If it is, it will be a testament to the quiet, understated but hugely valuable work of James Brokenshire.

"I wished James and his family well for the period ahead and told him I hope to have the opportunity to work with him again in the future".



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