Belfast Telegraph

Things Karen Bradley Never Knew: Viral trend after Secretary of State admits lack of Northern Ireland knowledge

By Jonathan Bell

Karen Bradley sparked incredulity after admitting a lack of knowledge about Northern Ireland before taking up her post - and with it a viral social media trend was born.

In an interview with the Houses of Parliament The House Magazine, she admitted to not knowing unionists would not vote for nationalists and vice versa.

She also admitted to being "slightly scared" of the place saying it was a "very different world" to what she was used to.

"I freely admit that when I started this job, I didn’t understand some of the deep-seated and deep-rooted issues that there are in Northern Ireland," she told the magazine.

“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.

"So, the parties fight for the election within their own community. Actually, the unionist parties fight the elections against each other in unionist communities and nationalists in nationalist communities. That’s a very different world from the world I came from.”

Since her admission last week the interview has inspired the #ThingsKarenBradleyNeverKnew on Twitter.

From where the international airport is, or isn't, to how people across the divide take their tea, there has been all manner of hilarity.

"The Apprentice Boys are an exclusive club of trainee electricians, plumbers and joiners," joked one scamp.

"Makes Twitter worth it," said Alliance leader Naomi Long.

"We might have more than our fair share of problems but when it comes to dark humour and laughing at ourselves (and everyone else) we really excel," the MLA said.

"I'm not particularly worried about Karen Bradley's lack of knowledge about here before she was appointed Secretary of State," said SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.

"I'm very concerned about her lack of action since she arrived."

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