Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Blow for Britain's May as Northern Ireland secretary resigns

Blow for Britain's May as Northern Ireland secretary resigns

She takes up the Northern Ireland portfolio following the resignation of James Brokenshire earlier on Monday, due to ill-health.

Bradley was previously Culture Secretary and was given her new role as part of Theresa May's government reshuffle.

Brokenshire, a key May supporter, had not been mentioned in any of the speculative pre-shuffle reports and had been expected to stay in his cabinet job.

A relative unknown in Northern Ireland, Mr Brokenshire stepped into the spotlight, calling for snap elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly, early past year following the resignation of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.

"In the last few days I have been told that I have a small lesion in my right lung which needs to be removed", Brokenshire wrote in his resignation letter.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said that since beginning in his role, Mr Brokenshire has immersed himself fully in it and dedicated long hours to trying to make progress.

In his letter to Mrs May he said: "I recognise that this comes at an important moment for politics in Northern Ireland".

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She was selected for Staffordshire Moorlands in July 2006 and was returned to Parliament at the general election in 2010.

Meanwhile, Brandon Lewis was promoted to Chairman of the Conservative Party, replacing Sir Patrick McLoughlin, a veteran Tory minister who served in Margaret Thatcher's government.

"Clearly, there are immediate challenges".

Efforts continue to restore power sharing in the North which collapsed nearly a year ago. I feel intently the impact on public services of the continuing absence of devolved government.

Moorlands-born Mrs Bradley moved to Buxton when her parents took over the Queens Head Hotel. She attended her local comprehensive school in Buxton and later studied maths at Imperial College London.

She qualified as a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser, working in public practice for Deloitte & Touche and KPMG and a spell as a self-employed tax and economics consultant.

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