Belfast Telegraph

MPs rap Karen Bradley for refusing to engage with media

Karen Bradley
Karen Bradley

By Alain Tolhurst

Two MPs from Northern Ireland have hit out at the Secretary of State over her refusal to answer questions from journalists.

Karen Bradley yesterday told the House of Commons there is a "genuine but narrow window to reach agreement" on restoring the power-sharing executive at Stormont.

She said there is a "genuine will to reach agreement and return to devolved government".

Belfast-born Labour MP Kate Hoey questioned Ms Bradley about a recent visit to Stormont where she had not taken questions from the Press, and called on her to spend more time answering journalists' questions.

Ms Hoey said: "It does look bad when you do not answer questions, and the Foreign Secretary of the Republic of Ireland answers questions for half-an-hour."

Ms Bradley responded: "The criticism I have received on making statements to the Press and, perhaps, not answering all their questions at every moment, I would just say to you I want to see devolution restored."

Ms Bradley added that nothing is gained from "speculation" and "over analysis" of answers.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson said that as Tanaiste Simon Coveney answered questions, Ms Bradley was "allowing the impression to be given that these talks are driven by the Irish Republic, and not in the hands of the UK Government."

Ms Bradley said: "It is my view that the more speculation there is in the Press and elsewhere about these matters, the less chance we have of restoring devolved government."

Belfast Telegraph

From Belfast Telegraph