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Blow for Britain's May as Northern Ireland secretary resigns

Blow for Britain's May as Northern Ireland secretary resigns

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

It was announced this morning that Mr Brokenshire would be resigning from government.

When she was named culture secretary after Ms May became prime minister in 2016, the cultural and sports worlds initially rejoiced.

It's understood he requires surgery soon for a lung condition.

In November, Brokenshire was forced to begin setting a budget for the province, but he said a return to direct rule could still be avoided. There is an urgent need to re-start talks between the parties.

Speaking about her appointment, Ms Baradley said: "A key part of my role will be to help build a Northern Ireland that is fit for the future and works for everyone".

"I very much look forward to working alongside you again when you are back to full health", she added.

In a statement, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney said: "I learned with regret today that James Brokenshire has resigned as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for health reasons".

Brokenshire was criticised for continually resetting deadlines in talks to restore the region's power-sharing government.

"While it is not always obvious to the public gaze, very important progress has been made on significant issues over the past year and I believe that a positive outcome can still be achieved".

The 50-year-old Conservative told British Prime Minister Theresa May of his resignation in a letter, calling it a "huge privilege" to have served in government.

He resigned from the Cabinet in January 2018 as Theresa May carried out a sweeping reshuffle of ministers - but why did he step down?

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

DUP leader Arlene Foster said that since beginning in his role, Mr Brokenshire has immersed himself fully in it and dedicated long hours to trying to make progress.

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