Northern Ireland

James Brokenshire: New secretary of state to arrive in NI

James Brokenshire Image copyright PA
Image caption James Brokenshire was appointed by the Prime Minister Theresa May, his former boss in the Home Office

The new secretary of state will visit Northern Ireland today for the first time since taking up the role.

James Brokenshire was appointed by the Prime Minister Theresa May after she took over from David Cameron last week.

Mr Brokenshire will be working alongside a Northern Ireland Executive which is deeply divided over the UK's plan to leave the European Union.

He said last week that Northern Ireland's interests need to be protected during the Brexit process.

The Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup was in favour of a remain vote in last month's EU referendum.

Mrs May also voted to remain, but after the result she said Brexit "means Brexit" and she vowed to make a success of leading the UK out of the EU.

Mr Brokenshire has already served under Mrs May at the Home Office.

He spent four years working as a security minister while she was home secretary.

During that role, he had oversight of the work of MI5 and the national police counter-terrorism network.

In his new role, Mr Brokenshire's priorities include the implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start agreements, tackling paramilitarism and dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

He has already said there should be no border controls between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

He replaced Brexit campaigner Theresa Villiers, who quit the government after turning down Mrs May's offer of a new, non-cabinet role.

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