BELFAST: Britain’s Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire has resigned because of ill-health, his spokesman said on Monday, before a planned cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Brokenshire, who has led government efforts to restore the devolved Northern Irish executive after power sharing collapsed last year, was stepping down ahead of major surgery in coming weeks, his spokesman said. The operation follows the discovery of a small lesion on his right lung, the spokesman said.
Brokenshire, 50, has hosted repeated unsuccessful negotiations between republicans Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party to form a power-sharing executive in British-ruled Northern Ireland.
Following the breakdown of talks, the province is on the brink of direct rule by civil servants in London who have already been managing its budget.
The power-sharing government collapsed in January last year after Sinn Fein pulled out over a scandal involving a renewable energy funding scheme.