Political news

Former Northern Ireland secretary of state James Brokenshire returns to the Cabinet following Rudd resignation

James Brokenshire succeeds the new home secretary Sajid Javid as secretary of state for housing, communities and local government. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

FORMER Northern Ireland secretary of state James Brokenshire has returned to the cabinet in the reshuffle that followed the resignation of home secretary Amber Rudd.

Mr Brokenshire succeeds Sajid Javid as secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, three months after health concerns forced him to resign.

The MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup in south-east London was appointed to the Northern Ireland job in July 2016, after Theresa May became prime minister.

The collapse of the power-sharing government happened under his tenure, followed by several rounds of failed talks.

He left in January ahead of an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his right lung, with politicians from across the divide wishing the father-of-three well.

Mr Brokenshire returned to the House of Commons a month later after "recovering strongly" from the procedure, calling for a national screening programme for lung cancer and describing how early diagnosis saved his life.

The non-smoker told how he was prompted to see his GP after coughing up a small amount of blood.

"At each stage I could have left it - too busy with work, too busy with Brexit, too busy with the political talks in Northern Ireland," he said.

"But I didn't and it saved my life."

The 50-year-old has been a close ally of the prime minister since serving under her from 2010-16 at the Home Office, where he was responsible for the crime prevention, security and immigration briefs.

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