Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland job 'hotly fought over' with Belfast-born MP tipped to replace Karen Bradley in Boris Johnson Cabinet

Conor Burns MP
Conor Burns MP

A Belfast-born MP has been tipped to replace the current Northern Ireland secretary of state in what has been reported as a scramble to get the "hotly" contested position.

Conor Burns could be the first person from Northern Ireland to hold the post.

Speculation has been mounting over who could replace Bradley in the change of leadership in the Tory party next month as Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson tussle over the keys to Number 10.

Gavin Williamson - given his history negotiating the Tory's confidence and supply deal with the DUP - has also been mooted as a potential new Hillsborough Castle resident.

The Sun newspaper reports the post in the Cabinet is one of the "most hotly" fought over claiming Williamson "covets" the position. Although it has been denied by his camp he has eyes on the office.

However, his sacking from Theresa May's Cabinet over the leaking of sensitive material - and for which he denies - has led some to claim he can not be given another security-related position.

It's claimed many of Johnson's most trusted aides are pointing toward Burns,  who once served as his parliamentary private secretary, for the brief.

The 46-year-old was born in Belfast before his family moved to Hertfordshire at a very young age where he went to school.  He has been Bournemouth West MP since 2010.

He described himself as someone not afraid to speak his mind and as "life-long watcher of Coronation Street".

Boris Johnson is, however, refusing to discuss roles in any future Government.

And there is always the possibility any new prime minister could keep Karen Bradley in her role.

Michael Gove, before his elimination from the race, described her as "brilliant" in her position which led some to claim he was "out of touch" on the Northern Ireland situation.

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