Secretary for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire resigns

James Brokenshire has resigned from his position as NI Secretary

May backed Brokenshire's decision to step down at "an important moment for politics in Northern Ireland", thanking him for his efforts with a letter in which she urged the parties to re-establish the power-sharing government.

She was making her first comments just hours after being given the job by British Prime Minister Theresa May following the resignation on health grounds of her predecessor James Brokenshire.

The Staffordshire Moorlands MP, whose constituency covers the Peak District in central England, is married with two children.

The switch, part of a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle by May, comes almost a year to the day since the collapse of the once-troubled province's semi-autonomous government.

The administration collapsed in January a year ago after Sinn Fein pulled out over a scandal involving a renewable energy funding scheme.

More news: China tightens North Korea trade restrictions under United Nations sanctions

He was elected at the 2005 general election to the now dissolved constituency of Hornchurch'.

She joined the Conservatives and in 2010 won the seat of Staffordshire Moorlands from Labour, becoming a government whip three years later and a junior minister in 2014.

She introduced the Serious Crime Act to tackle organised crime and secured the passage of the Modern Slavery Act. Bradley made little impression at first, either on the arts world or on the other parts of her brief covering "digital, culture, media and sport".

Northern Ireland has been without a regional government for nearly a year, destabilising the delicate balance between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists that has been shaken by Britain's June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Speaking in the wake of the decision, Mr Brokenshire told reporters: "My intent is to get on with surgery".

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