British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sacked the minister who helped end three years of political stalemate in Northern Ireland, in a wider reshuffle as Johnson reshapes his cabinet.
Julian Smith was central to restoring Northern Ireland’s devolved government, a key element of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord. He won him praise at the time from all sides of the political divide.
Business Minister Andrea Leadsom, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, and Junior Minister for Housing Esther McVey were among the ministers to confirm their sacking from the cabinet on Twitter. Environment Minister Theresa Villiers confirmed on Facebook she had also lost her position.
A source in Johnson’s office said the prime minister was keen to foster new talent, particularly among women, in the junior ranks of government while also rewarding loyal supporters who helped him win a large majority in last year’s election.