Karen Bradley appointed as Northern Ireland minister - PM May's office

CBI NI response to the appointment of Minister Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, Bradley has been secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport since July 2016.

The politician said he is expected to undergo surgery to remove a lung lesion.

As first secretary of state, he was effectively deputy prime minister, standing in for Mrs May at PMQs and playing a key co-ordinating role behind the scenes chairing a series of cabinet committees.

"We need to deliver devolved government to Northern Ireland as soon as possible and that's what I am determined to do".

He later tweeted: Really appreciate all of the kind messages.

"I think she's (Mrs Bradley) heard directly today from people that they want to see government back here and if it's not going to be a devolved administration then it will have to be some sort of an administration direct from Westminster".

22/08/2017. Simon Coveney Bilateral meeting with SOSNI Brokenshire.

The outgoing secretary of state is leaving for health reasons.

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Mrs May, who carried out a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, joined those in paying tribute to Mr Brokenshire and wished him a "speedy recovery".

In an apparent signal that he may be in line for a return to government once he has recovered after surgery, the prime minister said Mr Brokenshire would have continued to do "a good job" had it not been for his illness.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been seen a favourite for the job but the Prime Minister may find it hard to move him in the midst of an NHS winter crisis which has seen tens of thousands of operations cancelled.

He said: "His unwavering commitment - in public and in private - over the past year to securing the effective operation of the devolved powersharing institutions in Belfast has been hugely important".

"It is fitting my first visit should be to Titanic Quarter, which reflects both Belfast and Northern Ireland's past and its future".

DUP leader Arlene Foster congratulated the MP and said she welcomed her to the "friendliest part of the UK".

"I wished James and his family well for the period ahead and told him I hope to have the opportunity to work with him again in the future". I trust James will have the surgery he needs and will make a full recovery.

Mr Brokenshire bore no responsibility for the breakdown between Stormont's two parties, but his response to the situation drew criticism.

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