Saturday 14 December 2019

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

Karen Bradley
Karen Bradley
Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire

Michael McHugh

The new Northern Ireland Secretary is Karen Bradley.

The former accountant moves from her former role as culture secretary, Theresa May's office confirmed.

She is a former organised crime minister at the Home Office who signed off the law making the National Crime Agency, the British FBI, fully operational in Northern Ireland.

The Staffordshire Moorlands MP, whose constituency covers the Peak District in central England, is married with two children.

Her first challenge will be to re-stalled powersharing talks.

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.

Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire
Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire

The British and Irish Governments had been expected to kickstart another bid to restore devolution after several rounds of talks last year failed to produce a deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Ms Bradley enjoys hill walking and cooking.

She was selected for Staffordshire Moorlands in July 2006 and was returned to Parliament at the general election in 2010.

In February 2014 she became minister for modern slavery and organised crime at the Home Office.

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

She was promoted to secretary of state for culture, media and sport in the government reshuffle in July 2016.

The Northern Ireland Secretary said: "Clearly, there are immediate challenges.

"It is now a year since Northern Ireland has had an effective, functioning power-sharing administration, and forming a Northern Ireland Executive, to deliver for the benefit of all, is my top priority.

"I believe a devolved government in Belfast is best placed to address these issues and take the key decisions which affect people's day to day lives, whether these relate to the economy, public services or issues of policing and justice."

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section