Posted by Jim on January 8, 2018
The head of British government in the north of Ireland, James
Brokenshire, has quit the Tory cabinet ahead of a major reshuffle by
Prime Minister Theresa May.
The British government confirmed the resignation but gave no further
details officially. However, it was claimed the 50-year-old minister
decided to stand down because he is facing a surgical procedure on his
It is Britain’s first major reshuffle since Ms May took office. Up to
six ministers are expected to be sacked — but the MP from Kent in
southeast England was not among ministers who were predicted to go.
Brokenshire’s spell at the head of Britain’s ‘Northern Ireland Office’
was marked by dismal failure, even by the standard of his office, and he
became known chiefly for his robotic delivery of NIO holding statements.
During his period in the job, he presided over the collapse of the
devolved institutions and the effective return of full Direct Rule. In
particular, his decision to impose himself as the hopelessly compromised
chair of talks between Sinn Fein and unionists, despite his party
critically depending on the DUP for a majority at Westminster, fatally
His stance on Brexit was implacably in support of May, his former boss
at the Home Office, and failed to take into account his brief in the
north of Ireland. In addition, his decision to continue a Tory policy of
selective internment of former republican political prisoners caused him
to become a hate figure for hardline republican groups, but won favour
with with the DUP.
His replacement could abandon these policies and lay the groundwork for
a new impetus to restore the Stormont Assembly in Belfast. However, any
new Direct Ruler sent by May while under the malign influence of the
DUP, and is likely be seen to be tainted. His replacement is likely to
be revealed later today.