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Secretary of State says she was taken out of context over NI votes remarks

Secretary of State Karen Bradley has claimed her comments on voting patterns in Northern Ireland were taken out of context

SECRETARY of State Karen Bradley has claimed her comments regarding confusion over Northern Ireland's voting patterns were "taken out of context".

There was an outcry after Ms Bradley, who took up post in January, said in an interview last week that she did not understand that nationalists did not vote for unionist parties during elections and vice versa.

She told the the parliamentary publication, The House Magazine: "I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland - people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa. So, the parties fight for election within their own community."

But in a walkabout in Belfast city centre yesterday following the aftermath of the Primark fire, Ms Bradley defended her position.

She told the BBC: "One thing from the interview was taken out of context. The whole point is that I am here as the Secretary of State doing the job, here on the ground, meeting people, dealing with people, listening to businesses and individuals living in Northern Ireland and really focussing on getting that devolved government back up and running."

She was unable to make any firm commitment when asked what she would do regarding future Treasury funding to revitalise the city.

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