Karen Bradley announced as UK's Northern Ireland Secretary as James Brokenshire resigns

09 January, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • Northern Ireland Secretary resigns ahead of Government reshuffle

Politicians have been wishing James Brokenshire well after he announced he was standing down as Northern Ireland secretary for health reasons.

It is a year since late deputy first minister Martin McGuinness resigned from the governing coalition at Stormont in protest at the DUP's handling of a botched green energy scheme.

Karen Bradley, 47, was given the job, moving from her role as head of the government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where she is best known for adopting a tough stance over Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy all of broadcaster Sky.

Brokenshire, who had been responsible for the province since July 2016, is to step down ahead of surgery following the discovery of a small lesion on his right lung.

"Really appreciate all of the kind messages", he wrote.

Since then, he has assisted efforts to restore power-sharing in the country.

Helena Kmart closing is "disappointing, but not surprising"
However, she said Helena's unemployment rate is now very low, so Kmart employees may have an easier time finding another job. In early July it was announced that the Kenosha Sears store would be closing, and it did shutter its doors by October.

"Clearly, my long term health and my family are my priorities and I intend to proceed with surgery at the earliest possible opportunity".

Following the breakdown of talks, the province is on the brink of direct rule by civil servants in London who have already been managing its budget.

The Northern Ireland Office confirmed that Mr Brokenshire has resigned, but would not confirm reports that his decision was based on health grounds.

The administration collapsed in January previous year after Sinn Fein pulled out over a scandal involving a renewable energy funding scheme.

Talks are still stalled on two key demands from Sinn Fein, which backs the legalisation of same-sex marriage and legal protection for the Irish language.

A fall-out between the two leading political parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein, has meant that has been no Northern Ireland Executive in operation for nearly a year.

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