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Ian Paisley: New Secretary of State a 'good unionist'

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley this week tweeted a photograph of him with new Secretary of State Karen Bradley
Staff Reporter

NEW Secretary of State Karen Bradley is a "good unionist", DUP MP Ian Paisley has claimed.

The North Antrim MP told the News Letter that Mrs Bradley was a supporter of the union.

"I think that the current team of members of the government are the strongest unionist team we have seen in decades," he said.

Sinn Féin previously accused Mrs Bradley's predecessor James Brokenshire and the British government of favouring unionists.

The Tory minority government currently relies on the votes of DUP MPs to remain in power.

Mr Paisley, who has predicted a return to direct rule before the end of this month, said Mrs Bradley would need to make some "tough decisions".

And he suggested she would need to "stand up" to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's Irish government.

The DUP have publicly clashed with Mr Varadkar and foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney over Brexit and the possible return of direct rule.

Mr Varadkar said last month the Irish government would expect to have a "real and meaningful involvement" in the north if any new talks to restore power-sharing fail.

However, the DUP has said the Irish government cannot be involved in the north's internal affairs.

Mr Paisley said Mrs Bradley "will need to stand up to Dublin".

He added: "She will certainly have our support if she makes sure that the guiding star in all of this is to do right by the union and the people of the union".

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