As a member of his first Cabinet, I was tested in Northern Ireland – as elsewhere the new government reduced the defict and reformed public services.
To respect devolution, the UK Government must not impose such a drastic development on the Province. Is this a test run for England?
It’s deeply disturbing for many that a modern European democracy might shortly be led by a party that continues to have its strategy overseen by an Army Council.
Also: Plaid fined almost £30,000 for misreporting donations worth half a million pounds; Labour hopefuls sing from devolution’s tattered hymnal; and more.
Grasping this nettle will involve appointing someone prepared to be considerably less popular with sections of the gallery than was their predecessor.
Also: Spotlight on the literal handful of MPs providing Stormont’s entire opposition; and Scottish Tories offer a budget deal to the SNP.
Setting aside the Ulster-specific sections, the proposals for reviving Stormont pledges frictionless trade with the mainland and a commitment on legacy prosecutions.
Strengthening Ulster’s bonds with the mainland starts with ending the de facto exile of its unionist politics – if Johnson and Foster have the imagination and will to see it done.
His appointments to the Territorial Offices are a mixed bag: Cairns is a welcome retention, Jack a bold but possibly risky change, and Smith another letdown for Ulster.
Also: Bebb to stand down as MP over Tory policy on Brexit; Bradley criticised for rushing ill-drafted Northern Irish legislation.
Also: MPs criticise Foreign Secretary over Ulster veterans; Johnson makes Thomson his Scottish campaign chief; and fierce competition to lead the NIO.
Also: Davidson urges Tories to work harder for Euros; Bradley branded ‘unfit to govern’ by abuse victims; SNP turmoil deepens; and more!
Also: Ministry of Defence and Northern Irish Office clash over protecting ex-servicemen and police; and another bad week for Scottish Labour.
My minority report, unlike the majority one of the Women’s and Equality Committee, respects the province’s devolution settlement.
If she insists on a functioning Assembly before a no-deal Brexit, why on earth would Sinn Fein oblige her?