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Julian Smith says resignation rumours 'very wide of the mark'

Julian Smith (Brian Lawless/PA)
Julian Smith (Brian Lawless/PA)
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

The Northern Ireland Secretary has moved to quash speculation that he could resign from the Cabinet.

Reports had suggested Downing Street had placed Julian Smith on "resignation watch" after a row in the Cabinet over legal advice being shared regarding the proroguing of Parliament.

Meanwhile, a law drafted by Opposition figures demanding the Brexit deadline is extended to January 2020 to avoid Britain leaving the European Union without a deal is expected to receive Royal Assent today.

But the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is threatening to disobey the terms and push ahead with his plan to keep no-deal on the table when he meets fellow leaders at the European Council summit on October 17.

His stance led to further media speculation that more front bench ministers could walk out on the government, with Mr Smith's name again being put in the frame.

However, on Monday morning Julian Smith tweeted: "Media speculation about me doing anything other than continuing to represent & work flat out for Northern Ireland is v wide of mark."

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