14/02/2020

PM Names Brandon Lewis As NI Secretary

Brandon Lewis has been appointed to the role of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The Great Yarmouth MP is a former chair of the Conservative party and held the role of Security Minister in Boris Johnson's previous cabinet.

His appointment comes amid Thursday's cabinet reshuffle that saw the Prime Minister sack Julian Smith after 204 days in the job.

Mr Lewis spoke to the First and deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill this morning, 14 February, after posting on Twitter that he was "honoured" to be taking on the role.
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"I am honoured to have been appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by the Prime Minister. This is an exciting time for Northern Ireland & I follow fantastic colleagues as predecessors, whose work I hope we can continue to build on."

Following his meeting with the DUP and Sinn Fein leaders, Mr Lewis added: "Looking forward to working with them & the executive team."

The new Secretary will have a full in-tray in the coming weeks as the Executive moves to implement commitments in the 'New Decade, New Approach' Stormont deal and fulfil a £661 million Department of Health budget requirement.

Mr Lewis, who is the region's fourth Secretary in four years, is also under pressure to implement the full legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont and begins his role to a backdrop of disappointment at Julian Smith's sacking.



(JG/CM)

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