Tuesday 19 June 2018

Karen Bradley: Everything you need to know about the new Northern Ireland Secretary of State

Karen Bradley
Karen Bradley
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Karen Bradley has been named as the new Northern Ireland Secretary of State. We look at everything you need to know about the MP who is now a key figure in Northern Ireland politics.

She is considered 'close ally ' of Theresa May

Ms Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, was formerly in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and is considered a close ally of Prime Minister Theresa May.

She takes over as Northern Ireland Secretary of State after James Brokenshire stood down for health reasons during Monday's cabinet reshuffle.

She has inherited the role at a critical time

Her first challenge will be to re-start power-sharing 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.

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.

Restoring power-sharing is a "top priority" she said upon taking up the role.

"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."

She is committed to avoiding a hard border post-Brexit

In her statement following her appointment Ms Bradley confirmed that she is keen to avoid a hard border when the UK leaves the EU.

"We must also continue the work to deliver a Brexit that recognises Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances and avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland while maintaining the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom," she said.

Before running for election she specialised in tax policy

Ms Bradley, who is married with two children, 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.

Prior to running for elected office she worked with the Conservatives from 2005 in the party's policy unit specialising in tax matters.

  • Additional reporting by Press Association and Belfast Telegraph reporters

Online Editors

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

Also in this section