Shailesh Vara appointed Northern Ireland Secretary following Johnson resignation announcement

Shailesh Vara appointed Northern Ireland Secretary following Johnson resignation announcement

SHAILESH VARA has been appointed the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

He comes enters the role after his predecessor Brandon Lewis publicly resigned early on Thursday morning.

Mr Vara, an MP for North West Cambridgeshire, has previously held the role for a five-month period before quitting in protest at former prime minister Theresa May's proposed deal with the EU in November 2018.

He claimed at the time that the draft agreement left "the UK in a half-way house".

Prior to the referendum in June 2016, Mr Vara was opposed to leaving the European Union.

Brandon Lewis, who had previously been regarded as a supporter of the Prime Minister, was one of more than 50 MPs who resigned from government in recent days.

In a letter to Johnson, he said that he could not "defend things as they stand now."

"It is clear that our party, parliamentary colleagues, volunteers and the whole country, deserve better.

"In recent weeks and months, we have been relentlessly on the defensive, consumed by introspection and in-fighting. A divided party cannot win elections. It cannot deliver for those who trusted us with their votes for the first time in 2019.

"A decent and responsible government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect it is a matter of profound personal regret for me that I must leave government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld."

Now, as the Prime Minister has announced his resignation, Downing Street has started to make new ministerial appointments.

Greg Clarke was the first appointment on Thursday morning as he was made levelling up secretary, replacing Michael Gove who Mr Johnson fired the day before for telling him he had to go.

Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor for policing when Mr Johnson was Mayor of London, was then appointed chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Sir Robert Buckland was then appointed as Wales Secretary, taking over from Simon Hart who quit on Wednesday after joining a delegation of cabinet ministers who went to Downing Street to tell Mr Johnson to go.