Northern Ireland

Karen Bradley comment taken 'out of context'

Karen Bradley
Image caption Secretary of State Karen Bradley was appointed to the post in January

The Secretary of State has said that her recent comments regarding Northern Ireland's voting patterns were "taken out of context".

Karen Bradley said that she did not understand that nationalists did not vote for unionist parties during elections.

The original comment was made during an interview with The House Magazine.

Mrs Bradley said she did not comprehend that campaigns are generally fought within each part of the community.

She told the magazine that it was "a very different world from the world I came from"

She added: "I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland - people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa."

Mrs Bradley was appointed in January to replace James Brokenshire.

"I am here doing the job"

Mrs Bradley defended her comment on Wednesday while taking a walk in Belfast City Centre to see the damage caused by the Primark fire.

She said: "One thing from the interview was taken out of context.

"The whole point is that I am here as the Secretary of State doing the job, here on the ground, meeting people, dealing with people, listening to businesses and individuals living in Northern Ireland and really focusing on getting that devolved government back up and running."

When asked about possible funding from the Treasury to help revitalise Belfast, Mrs Bradley said she was looking at the best way to deal with the situation and could make no commitments at this stage.

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