Brokenshire successor needs to appoint independent talks chair: Eastwood

Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire resigns from cabinet over ill-health

Northern Ireland has been without a regional government for nearly a year, destabilising the delicate balance between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists that has been shaken by Britain's June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Karen Bradley has been appointed as the new Northern Ireland secretary in Theresa May's cabinet.

Today marks 12 months since Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minister and called for a fresh election.

If a solution to the impasse can not be found, the region faces a new election or direct rule from Westminster.

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.

In February 2014 she became minister for modern slavery and organised crime at the Home Office. When she was named culture secretary after Ms May became prime minister in 2016, the cultural and sports worlds initially rejoiced.


She introduced the Serious Crime Act to tackle organised crime and secured the passage of the Modern Slavery Act.

He said: "Expect things like an independent chair coming in, someone who can drive the talks forward and also challenge parties when they seem to be dragging their feet or being unreasonable".

"I wish him all the very best for his medical treatment and for a speedy recovery".

In an apparent signal that he may be in line for a return to government once he has recovered after surgery, the prime minister said Mr Brokenshire would have continued to do "a good job" had it not been for his illness.

Greening said she wants to work closely with all parties, the Irish government, and with all sections of the community, adding the British government remains fully committed to the Belfast Agreement which paved the way for self-rule in the region.

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