Karen Bradley named new NI secretary

12 January, 2018, 06:12 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Former NI Secretary of State James Brokenshire arrives for the service to mark the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bombing last November

The new secretary of state has reiterated her commitment to ensuring Stormont gets back up and running.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: "This is clearly a hard time for not only James but for Cathy, his wife and his children".

British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Karen Bradley as Northern Ireland Secretary on Monday, shortly after James Brokenshire resigned from the post due to ill-health.

"I have spoken to all the main party leaders".

Sinn Féin's leader at Stormont, Michelle O'Neill, said they are "ready to engage" in talks but questioned if the DUP is "serious about partnership government".

Sinn Fein's continued "eulogising" of the IRA is thwarting efforts to build a shared future in Northern Ireland, Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has warned.

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"Once one of the world's leading industrial cities and now one of the world's largest waterfront regeneration schemes", she said.

"And I understand the importance of dealing with the past and securing a safe and prosperous future".

"An independent chair, a different venue isn't going to change what we have to do here and what we have to do here is get devolution back for the people of Northern Ireland, and I think frankly all the rest is window dressing", she said.

Mr Brokenshire - who turned 50 on Sunday - stood down on Monday ahead of British PM Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle and revealed that he is to undergo surgery for a lung condition.

It is being reported that Mr Brokenshire has "a small lesion on his right lung and will be having major surgery in the coming weeks".

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.

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Her website states this childhood experience gave her "a unique introduction to people from all walks of life". She attended her local comprehensive school in Buxton and later studied maths at Imperial College London.

Karen Bradley, who represents the English constituency of Staffordshire, was formerly the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Mrs Bradley then worked as an accountant and a tax adviser for nearly 20 years, before entering politics.

She has held a number of government positions, including senior Whip at the Treasury.

"They want government here, they want a locally elected assembly, they want local ministers taking decisions - we want government also".

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