Karen Bradley sacked as Northern Ireland Secretary by Boris Johnson
Karen Bradley has been sacked as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made the move as he begins reshuffling his cabinet.
Ms Bradley had been in the position since January 2018.
In a statement, Ms Bradley said: "It has been an enormous privilege to serve as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and represent this special nation and integral part of our precious union.
"I would like to pay tribute to Theresa May for her continued support and commitment to ensuring the unique needs of Northern Ireland were met and respected in full.
"I would also like to thank the whole team at the Northern Ireland Office who work tirelessly to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland."
She said she was proud of the achievements over the past 18 months, and said: "I personally regret that I will not conclude the current talks process but I am honoured to have led the process over the past 12 weeks.
In a day of many changes, important to recognise the determined efforts which Karen Bradley made to seek a restoration of devolution in NI. Whether city deals or broadband, Karen worked to ensure money secured through c&s reached people in NI.— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) July 24, 2019
"The political parties in Northern Ireland have made important progress and shown a new determination to overcome their differences and reach an agreement.
"I now pass this tremendous responsibility over to my successor with every best wish and my full support to conclude the process."
Ms Bradley said she looked forward to campaigning from the backbenches on behalf of her constituents in Staffordshire Moorlands.
"I wish the new Prime Minister the very best and I look forward to seeing him lead with energy and determination, focused on the best interests of our country," she added.
Ms Bradley proved an unpopular figure with politicians on both sides of the divide in Northern Ireland.
She was forced into an apology to Parliament for saying that deaths caused by police and soldiers during the Troubles were not crimes.
On Wednesday, Mrs Bradley said: "The legacy of the Troubles still casts a large shadow over many aspects of society and I have been humbled by the strength and dignity of the survivors.
"I would also like to salute the tremendous heroism and courage displayed by the armed forces and the police in upholding the democracy and the rule of law.
"We know that without them the peace process in Northern Ireland would never have happened and we will always remember the debt of gratitude we owe them."
She said she was also immensely proud at securing two City Deals for Belfast and Derry/Londonderry - with £455 million of new UK government investment for Northern Ireland.
This includes the creation of a new Inclusive Future Fund in Derry.
Mrs Bradley added: "After the appalling and tragic murder of Lyra McKee on Good Friday, I personally wanted to put in place a fund to create new opportunities for young people and recognise the unique challenges facing the region.
"I was also delighted to secure £300 million of Government funding for shared integrated education, which will help thousands of pupils from all backgrounds.
"Together with £320 million from the budget 2018 for NHS funding and schools capital, and a £10 million Northern Ireland veterans fund, this is nearly £800 million in total to help build a more prosperous Northern Ireland that works for everyone, irrespective of their background."
She added: "Now more than ever it is so important that we come together and focus on a peaceful future in Northern Ireland and continue to build on the tremendous progress made since the 1998 Belfast Agreement."
Belfast Telegraph Digital