Netizen 24 IRL: James Brokenshire resigns as UK's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland due to ill health

Diposting oleh On 04.06

James Brokenshire resigns as UK's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland due to ill health

James Brokenshire resigns as UK's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland due to ill health

UK Prime Minister Theresa May expected to announce a major reshuffle to her Cabinet today

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

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The UK� 39;s Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has resigned from Theresa May's Cabinet due to ill-health.

The Northern Ireland Office confirmed his resignation, but gave no further details.

However, a source close to the 50-year-old minister said he had decided to stand down because he was facing major surgery within the next couple of weeks.

The Old Bexley and Sidcup MP is a close ally of Mrs May, having served under her for five years at the Home Office, and he was not among ministers who were predicted to go in the Prime Minister's first major reshuffle since she took office.

Explaining his decision, a source close to Mr Brokenshire said: "He has a small lesion on his right lung and is getting major surgery in the next couple of weeks."

Reports earlier today suggested that around half a dozen of Theresa May's senior ministers could be axed or moved, with Number 10 sources indicating the more junior ministeria l appointments would continue into a second day on Tuesday.

The most senior members of the UK Government - Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Secretary David Davis - are all expected to remain in their present posts.

One of Mrs May's first appointments is likely to be a replacement for Damian Green, who was forced to resign last month after admitting he lied over allegations that pornographic material was found on his Commons computer during a police raid in 2008.

As first secretary of state, he was effectively deputy prime minister, standing in for Mrs May at PMQs and playing a key co-ordinating role behind the scenes chairing a series of cabinet committees.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been seen a favourite for the job but the Prime Minister may find it difficult to move him in the midst of an NHS winter crisis which has seen tens of thousands of operations cancelled.

Al l ministers being appointed to posts in the Cabinet or having their existing positions confirmed are due to go to Downing Street to speak with Mrs May over the course of the day.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke said he was sorry to see Mr Brokenshire leave the Government.

Clearly surprised by the announcement, Mr Gauke told BBC Radio Five Live's Emma Barnett Show: "James is one of the best people in politics, I think everyone who knows him from whatever their political views, (think he) is someone of great integrity and hard work.

"So if that's true I'm really sorry to hear that."

The Conservatives deleted a tweet congratulating Chris Grayling on being appointed party chairman.

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