Michael Staines
Michael Staines

18.35 24 Jul 2019


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The Northern Ireland Secretary has been removed from her position amid the new UK Prime Minister’s Cabinet purge.

Karen Bradley is one of at least 13 ministers leaving the UK Cabinet through one means or another in the wake of Boris Johnson’s entrance into 10 Downing Street.

In a statement after she was sacked from her role this afternoon, Ms Bradley said it was an “enormous privilege” to serve in Northern Ireland – and described the region as an “integral part” of the UK.

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“I would like to pay tribute to Theresa May for her continued support and commitment to ensuring the unique needs of Northern Ireland were met and respected in full,” she said.

“I would also like to thank the whole team at the Northern Ireland Office who work tirelessly to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.”

She has been replaced by Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith.

Mr Smith service as the House of Commons Chief Whip from November 2017 until July 2019.

Stormont

Following Mr Johnson’s confirmation as Prime Minister, the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald warned that British commitments under the Good Friday Agreement are “incompatible with Brexit.”

She said the restoration of power-sharing in the North has been “held up by the DUP’s continued denial of rights” and the party’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the minority Conservative Party Government.

“Sinn Féin has engaged constructively in the talks process and we want to ensure the institutions are operating to the highest standard and delivering for all in society,” she said.

“The restoration of the institutions requires a fundamental change in the approach of the British government.”

Cabinet

Reports in the UK indicate Mr Johnson’s new Cabinet will be "two-thirds Brexiteers and one-third Remainers."

This evening the former Home Secretary Sajid Javid was appointed Chancellor.

That was followed by the announced of Priti Patel, who quit as international development secretary over unauthorised talks with the Israeli government, as Home Secretary.

Ms Patel also came under fire for suggesting food shortages in Ireland could be used to force a change to Britain's Brexit deal.

A number of Mrs May's allies have already followed her out the door - chief among them the former Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington.

This evening meanwhile, Mr Johnson’s rival for the Conservative Party leadership, the former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said he was returning to the backbenches despite a ‘kind’ offer of a new job.

The Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt also announces her return to the backbenches, where she said she would be giving Mr Johnson her “full support.”

The former Trade Secretary Liam Fox has been sacked, along with the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Seven other ministers also left their roles.


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Boris Johnson Karen Bradley Northern Secretary UK Cabinet UK Prime Minister

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