Go, Prime Minister and take Karen Bradley with you

Theresa May’s voice broke as she reached the end of her resignation speech. Known as the ‘Maybot’ throughout her premiership her exterior finally cracked. She sounded close to tears as she said it had, ‘been the honour of her life’ to ‘serve the country that I love.’ She wasn’t this emotional during the Windrush scandal, a horrifying disaster of her own making. May’s resignation starts the bell ringing for the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Jeremy Hunt …

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Bradley’s words deserve more than weak statements

Theresa May likes to talk about ‘our precious union.’ It’s clearly a buzzword somebody at Tory HQ dreamed up at meeting and wrote on a whiteboard. The Prime Minister repeats the phrase like a bot, often to reiterate the fact that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. Over the past few days, you could be forgiven for thinking that we’re living in a different world. On the 5th March sixty two year old Tommy Morgan gave evidence at the …

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“I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.” Theresa May in Brussels? Answer. Worse: humiliation

What was Theresa May actually expecting  from the EU 27 leaders in Brussels? There was always the desperate hope for one of those last minute rush to settle against the declared odds. Instead… headlines… Daily Telegraph ( Brexiteer) Theresa May was humiliated once again by EU leaders last night as her attempts to improve her Brexit deal were thrown back in her face. The Sun (Brexiteer) and coiner of  dreadful puns BRUSSELS ROUT  Theresa May told to get stuffed by …

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Bradley’s attempt to choke off debate on a statute of limitations will fail

In anticipation of the end of the consultation period on Friday for the proposals  on dealing with the Troubles’ legacy,  the secretary of state Karen Bradley writes in Eamonn Mallie’s website.. As the consultation is still live, I will not, at this stage, comment on specific suggestions. She then goes on to do precisely that, on the issue overhanging  the whole exercise  that has significant support at Westminster and in sections of NI opinion.  The military lobby is campaigning strongly …

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MPs urge the UK government to end “untenable” inaction over the absence of Stormont after the Bank holiday. But who believes anything will happen?

The call by the NI  select committee of MPs  to secretary of state Karen Bradley to “redouble” her efforts to restart talks aimed at restoring devolution has a ritual flavour about it. There seems no appetite for action on this front while the two governments are in  stand-off over the UK’s long awaited proposals  for exit and  backstop which are due to be submitted by the EU next month and agreed in October. The MPs also said she must outline …

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A mockery of a negotiation so far

So “huge differences remain” if you’re the DUP  but “good progress” was made if you’re a novice British minister  reading off the pre-prepared NIO script. What else don’t we know that the political correspondents can’t be bothered to say? The role of the chair is unknown – co-chairs, facilitators or dynamic leaders with a cunning plan ready to view? “We do not negotiate in public” said Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy last week as if for all the world this was …

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Pressure to resume the responsibilities of government is not a winning card

So how are the prospects for the talks being trailed?   Are three women, Arlene, Michelle and late  joiner Karen are up the creek with Simon but without a paddle? Or will they brave the towering waves of cynicism to ride them out and make it home  to everyone’s  huge surprise? Karen – as we must get used to calling the secretary of state for the time being -, repeats the standard stale brief, that agreement is close if only.. She …

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The extra £1 billion promised to the DUP is still a card to play in the renewed party talks

Because of the DUP’s pact with the Conservatives, Nationalists chose to believe that the DUP have the Conservative government in their pocket and write off the secretary of state as an impartial mediator. But Sam Coates, the Times correspondent with arguably the closest contacts with the Tories,  throws a  different light  to reveal a much more complicated  relationship. Relations between the DUP and the Tories are under increasing strain amid uncertainty over when the £1 billion promised as part of …

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Karen Bradley appointed new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

As the BBC report, the UK Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, MP, has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by Prime Minister Theresa May replacing James Brokenshire – who resigned today due to ill health. Karen Bradley MP becomes Secretary of State for Northern Ireland #CabinetReshuffle pic.twitter.com/5TbHJJRI1h — UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) January 8, 2018 Adds  From the BBC report Mrs Bradley, 47, has been the MP for Staffordshire Moorlands since May 2010, and became a Home …

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