Theresa Villiers Leaves Government

Jamie Brokenshire has been appointed the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Mr Brokenshire, who is the Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup.

He replaces Theresa Villiers who stood down earlier today, 14 July.

Mrs May offered her a new role however she said she felt she could not take it on.

Ms Villiers served on the front bench for 11 years.

In a statement she said: "I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during that time. I am sad to bring to end my work in Northern Ireland but I believe that I leave the political situation there in a more stable position than it has been for many years, not least because I was able to to help tackle the crisis which a year ago left us on the brink of a collapse of devolution and a return to direct rule.

"I send my very best wishes to Northern Ireland's leaders as they continue the crucial process of implementing the two historic agreements that the cross party talks I chaired were able to deliver.

"Northern Ireland and its people will always have a very special place in my heart and I am confident that progress will continue to be made to embed peace, stability and prosperity there."

Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd said politically she will not be missed.

Mr O'Dowd said: "I wish Theresa Villiers well personally but politically she will not be missed.

"She has been the representative of a British government which inflicted austerity, welfare cuts and now Brexit on the people of the North.

"She also played a negative role in dealing with the legacy of the conflict, continually placing obstacles in the path of families seeking access to truth.

"The position of Secretary of State is unnecessary. It should be abolished and all remaining powers of the NIO transferred to the Assembly."


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