Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire resigns from cabinet over ill

Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire resigns from cabinet over ill

Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire resigns from cabinet over ill

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has quit the Cabinet in the first of what are expected to be a number of changes as Theresa May reshuffles her top team.

In attempting to prevent Northern Ireland erupting as a major crisis for a prime minister toiling on Brexit, Mr Brokenshire set "deadline" after "deadline" for the DUP and Sinn Fein to re-enter power-sharing; as each passed, he simply announced a new date until the point that he gave up on setting any deadline.

Karen Bradley confirmed the meeting as she spoke to journalists in Belfast this morning.

Mr Brokenshire today revealed that he has a "small lesion" in his right lung which needs to be surgically removed.

Brokenshire tweeted appreciation for "all of the kinds messages" he's received since his announcement.

"But I will need time and space to focus on the surgery and recovery from it and therefore that's where my focus and efforts must be in the short-term". "Not quite how I thought I'd mark my 50th birthday!"

The business group also wished James Brokenshire a speedy recovery and all the very best for the future. He formerly served as immigration minister under former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Coveney is now on a visit to the Middle East and will stop over in London on his way back to Ireland.

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The failure of the talks is pushing Northern Ireland closer towards direct rule from London.

"His unwavering commitment - in public and in private - over the a year ago to securing the effective operation of the devolved power-sharing institutions in Belfast has been hugely important", he said.

Mrs Bradley replaced James Brokenshire, who quit his role as Northern Ireland secretary for health reasons.

DUP leader Arlene Foster added: "This is clearly a hard time for not only James but for Cathy, his wife and his children".

Mr Brokenshire visited Enniskillen twice last November.

"I can assure you nobody is more disappointed or indeed frustrated with the fact that we haven't as of yet struck a deal - that we don't have the institutions back live - than all of us in Sinn Féin", she said.

In an apparent signal that he may be in line for a return to Government once he has recovered after surgery, the PM said Mr Brokenshire would have continued to do "a good job" had it not been for his illness, adding: "I very much look forward to working alongside you again when you are back to full health".

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