Brokenshire resigns as Northern Ireland Secretary

Brokenshire resigns as Northern Ireland Secretary

Brokenshire resigns as Northern Ireland Secretary

A fall-out between the two leading political parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein, has meant that has been no Northern Ireland Executive in operation for nearly a year.

The Northern Ireland Office confirmed that Mr Brokenshire has resigned, but would not confirm reports that his decision was based on health grounds.

The 47-year-old was appointed on Monday after previous Secretary of State James Brokenshire announced his resignation from the cabinet for health reasons.

A relative unknown in Northern Ireland, Mr Brokenshire stepped into the spotlight, calling for snap elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly, early past year following the resignation of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.

If no agreement can be reached between the two largest parties, who are at odds over issues including a standalone Irish language act, then direct rule from Westminster may be introduced. When she was named culture secretary after Ms May became prime minister in 2016, the cultural and sports worlds initially rejoiced. The first was when she was speaking about organised crime and the second to inform the House that the home office had sold a Toyota Prius there for £3,073.

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".

Mr Brokenshire said he expected to be able to return to work "relatively quickly" after his operation.

She said: "They want government here, they want locally elected assembly, they want local ministers making decisions".

Update 2.39pm: Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney phoned Mr Brokenshire while on a visit to Cairo to wish him well. "Alongside these issues, I am conscious of the need to establish a stronger economy and a shared society, to address the legacy of the past and to keep people safe and secure".

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