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Sidcup and Old Bexley MP James Brokenshire announced as secretary of state for Northern Ireland

PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 15 July 2016

Conservative MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup and immigration minister James Brokenshire in the houses of Parliament, Westminster (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Conservative MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup and immigration minister James Brokenshire in the houses of Parliament, Westminster (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

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He was announced today as part of Theresa May's Cabinet

James Brokenshire, the former government minister for security and immigration, has taken a new role as part of Theresa May’s cabinet shake-up.

Mr Brokenshire first joined David Cameron’s cabinet after becoming Sidcup and Old Bexley’s MP in 2010.

The Conservative MP was announced as secretary of state for Northern Ireland in Mrs May’s new-look cabinet announced today (Thursday).

Earlier this week, Mr Brokenshire had backed the new prime minister.

In his column for the Bexley Times, he wrote: “Having worked closely with Theresa throughout her time as Home Secretary, I know she sees politics not as a game but as a serious mission to change people’s lives for the better.

“She is tough and no nonsense and gets on with the job. We need a bold, new, positive vision for the future of our country.

“I strongly believe Theresa May is the best person to deliver this.”

He takes over from Theresa Villiers.

Mr Brokenshire said: “I want to pay the fullest tribute to my predecessor, Theresa Villiers, who worked tirelessly for the people of Northern Ireland. As a result of her success in negotiating the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, Northern Ireland is stronger and politics more stable than for many years.

“The Prime Minister said in her statement yesterday, there is a “precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”. I know from my previous visits to Northern Ireland that it is a very special and valued part of our United Kingdom and which has so much potential as a place to invest and do business.

“A key priority for me is to continue with the full implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, to help tackle paramilitarism, put the Executive’s finances on a secure footing and address the legacy of the past. I also want to maintain the Government’s full support for the Belfast Agreement.

“Another huge challenge is to ensure that we make a success of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. It is vital that Northern Ireland’s interests are fully protected and advanced including in relation to the border.

“I am looking forward to working closely over the coming weeks and months with the Executive, the Irish government and the whole community in Northern Ireland to build a brighter, more secure future for everyone.”

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