The British Secretary of State for the North of Ireland is in a right state after downing numerous drinks, sausage rolls and Vol-au-vents in Stormont

News flash: Karen Bradley

Karen Bradley the biggest joke of a British Secretary of State for the North of Ireland. You couldn’t pick a worst SoS in the North if you tried

No one else turned up to her drink’s party so rather than let it go to waste…

So very very true, God help her she’s out of her debt 😂😂😂😂lol

Several taxis then refused to take her ‘to any bar on the Falls-facking-Road mate’ and warned her to keep away from Ardoyne!!!

Bradley forced to call off drinks reception after all main parties refuse to attend

KAREN Bradley has been forced to call off a Stormont drinks reception on Tuesday after her invite was snubbed by all the main political parties.

The cancellation, which came just 24 hours ahead of the event, is the latest embarrassing setback for the British Secretary of State, whose performance has been widely criticised over recent months. Sinn Féin first signalled on Sunday that it wouldn’t be attending what the NIO described as a “cross-party discussion event” for all MLAs.

The remaining four main parties all confirmed on Monday night that their MLAs would not be accepting Mrs Bradley’s invitation. The cancellation comes amid growing speculation that the current talks process, which began in early May, is to be wound down over the coming days and parked for the summer. Last week, Alliance leader Naomi Long told The Irish News that a breakthrough in the negotiations was unlikely before the end of this month.

When the two governments reviewed the process a fortnight ago they identified a “narrow window of opportunity” to reach a deal. Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said on Monday night that the talks appeared to be “stuck in no-man’s land”. “The Secretary of State may have been intending to help the talks move to a more meaningful state by getting all the MLA’s together, but that boat has now sailed,” he said. “It’s time to get political leaders together for some hard political graft instead.”

An SDLP spokesman said the public wanted politicians working to return to government rather than attending a drinks reception, while an Alliance spokesman said the party’s MLAs would be concentrating on the work to restore the institutions. A DUP spokesman said the event was “unhelpful”. A British government spokesman said Mrs Bradley belevied it would have been valuable to bring together MLAs for ” an informal event alongside the ongoing talks process “. “The Secretary of State respects that the parties have concluded they are not ready for this yet,” the spokesman said.

THE IRISH NEWS

Pro fide et patriarch

Bradley only part of the problem

IN OTHER circumstances, and were a different Secretary of State involved, the NIO decision to cancel Tuesday’s drinks reception for MLAs might have proved more embarrassing. But ignominy and naivety have been constant companions during Karen Bradley’s tenure at the NIO. Calling off the event because the politicians said they wouldn’t turn up doesn’t represent a new nadir; rather, it is merely further confirmation of how Mrs Bradley is widely regarded as the least effective Secretary of State yet (and that’s some accomplishment after James Brokenshire 👎👎😂😂😂)

In a slender credit column, it should be noted that Mrs Bradley has an enviable ability to unite our own locally elected political representatives, even if it is in opprobrium against her.

This is no mean feat, as observers of the political trenches at Stormont will readily appreciate. It might be convenient to round on Mrs Bradley but this denies the reality that it is the responsibility of our politicians – particularly Sinn Féin and the DUP, and not the London or Dublin governments – to form a Power-sharing government. And when Mrs Bradley is, replaced as seems likely when the conservative Party finds its new leader, who will the MLAs then blame for more than two years of their own political failure?

With many thanks to: Dixie Elliot and The Irish News and John Manley (Political Correspondent) for the original posting

Follow these links to find out more: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/politicalnews/2019/06/18/news/stormont-parties-snub-karen-bradley-drinks-reception-1644087/content.html

(2)-: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/karen-bradleys-summer-drinks-reception-cancelled-after-snub-by-political-parties-38226782.html

(3)-: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/northern-ireland-parties-sink-plans-for-stormont-drinks-party-1.3928700

(4)-: https://seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post

Bradley ‘treated journalists with contempt by refusing to take questions’

Karen Bradley recommending intensive leadership talks to the PM

A journalists’ union has criticised the Secretary of State for treating the media with “apparent contempt” at a key moment in the Stormont talks.

Yesterday, Karen Bradley held a joint press conference with Tanaiste Simon Coveney. She spoke for a minute and refused to take questions, while Mr Coveney spoke for 10 and took questions.

Leaders of political parties also engaged with journalists waiting outside the talks at Stormont House.

Several local journalists expressed frustration with Ms Bradley’s performance.

In a reference to the High Court’s overturning of search warrants in relation to the Loughinisland documentary this week, the National Union of Journalists’ Belfast secretary Ciaran O Maolain said Ms Bradley’s reluctance to engage was “especially disgraceful in a week that has brought to the fore issues around freedom of information and the role of the media in a democratic society”.

He added: “We all want to see progress in politics, and that requires informed debate, transparency and honesty on all sides. For a government minister to treat journalists with apparent contempt, refusing to take a single question when so many important issues are being discussed, does nothing to advance the political process.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story

Two more nails in the coffin of the NI Secretary Karen Bradley

Historical abuse survivors feel like they are being used as “a blackmail tool” in NI’s political talks process, a campaigner has said.

NI Secretary Karen Bradley has pushed back the prospect of taking legislation through Westminster to give compensation to abuse victims .

Payments were recommended by the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in 2017.

But Stormont’s collapse stalled the process.

Jon McCourt, of the Survivors North West group, said some victims feel they are being used as a leverage tool in talks to restore devolution.

“Victims and survivors are seeing this as being used for leverage to drag a coalition of the unwilling around the table,” Mr McCourt said

He added: “In other words we are a blackmail tool for the secretary of state to use to force a government around a table at Stormont and we are not going to be used for it.”

Mr McCourt said he was “ashamed that Karen Bradley has the brass neck to call herself secretary of state.”

Mrs Bradley sent a letter to victims’ groups on Tuesday. Image copyright © PA

David Sterling, the head of the NI Civil Service, had asked Mrs Bradley to take control of the issue .

BBC News NI has seen a letter from the secretary of state, which was sent to victims’ groups on Tuesday.

In the letter, Mrs Bradley suggested putting HIA payments as an item in the Stormont talks process was the “quickest possible way to bring this issue to a resolution”.

“Unfortunately we cannot simply take forward legislation without addressing the consultation feedback,” Mrs Bradley said in her letter.

Murder is Murder is Murder the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used those very words in 1981

“Urgent consideration needs to be given to the views expressed during the consultation.”

Source: Jon McCourt, Source description: Survivors North West, Image:
We are a blackmail tool for the secretary of State to use to force a government around a table at Stormont, and we are not going to be used for it.

Mr McCourt’s views were shared by others representing survivors.

“It is utterly appalling that, yet again, the survivors are being used as leverage to pressure the political parties into an agreement,” Claire McKeegan, a solicitor who represents some of the victims, told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

“The reality here is that this is yet another political decision where the government will cherry pick issues which it will deal with… and yet when it comes to the survivors of institutional abuse … the government just will not take steps.”

It comes a day after the Executive Office published responses to a public consultation on HIA redress.

The consultation received 562 responses. However, the Executive Office said it has completed its analysis of them.

Mrs Bradley added that she has also written to Mr Sterling to ask him to include HIA matters in the current round of Stormont talks.

He is chairing the working group looking at the programme for government.

David Sterling
Last week, the Head of the Civil Service David Sterling said the historical institutional abuse issue “transcends politics”

“The current talks are the best opportunity for these complex issues – such as the total redress payment – to be discussed by local politicians,” she added.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said the secretary of state believes “the quickest and best route to deliver for victims and survivors is to include this issue as a priority in the talks process”.

The British Secretary of State for the North of Ireland needs to step aside

“This has a timeframe to make progress by the end of May,” it added.

The HIA inquiry was set up by Stormont leadersto investigate allegations of abuse in children’s residential homes run by religious, charitable and state organisations.

‘Shameful betrayal’

It was chaired by Sir Anthony Hart and its remit covered a 73-year period from the foundation of Northern Ireland in 1922 through to 1995.

The inquiry made a number of recommendations including compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abuse survivors.

Since the inquiry ended two years ago, 30 survivors of historical institutional abuse have died.

Mike Nesbitt, a former victims’ commissioner and Ulster Unionist Party leader, said Mrs Bradley was pushing him to “breaking point”.

“There is not on penny in this year’s budget for redress of historical institutional abuse victims,” he told BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show .

“[UUP leader] Robin Swann will contact the secretary of state and ‘say get on with it in Westminster’, and he will contact the other four main party leaders and say, ‘contact the secretary of state’.

“I have dealt in one way or another with the last 13 secretaries of state and she is the worst by a country mile.”

Mrs Bradley said she will also meet the chair of the HIA inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, in the coming days, as well as a number of victims’ and survivors’ groups next week.

Amnesty International has described the latest development as a “shameful betrayal of abuse victims, who have been let down time after time”.

Last week, Stormont’s political parties echoed calls from David Sterling and victims’ groups for the secretary of state to take immediate action on HIA compensation.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Jane McCormack Political Reporter for the original story

Follow this link to find out more about how unhappy people are with the Secretary of State for the North of Ireland: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48276804

Karen Bradley has ‘no power’ to run government departments

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was set up to examine allegations of child abuse in children’s homes and other institutions Image copyright © PACEMAKER

 

The secretary of state has no role in running NI’s government departments, a judicial review has heard.

Tony McGleenan QC for the Secretary of State told the High Court that there is often a perception that Karen Bradley can tell departments what to do.

However, he said there is currently no means for her to do this.

He spoke at the second day of an inquiry looking into the failure to pay compensation to survivors of historical institutional abuse.

He told the High Court heard that due to the Good Friday Agreement, the secretary of state’s role differed from the rest of the UK and the Northern Ireland Office holds no power to run the devolved government departments.

What is the HIA?
HIA report findings
He added that any powers to do so would have to be legislated by Parliament.

Mr McGleenan told the High Court: “Parliament could have done it, have done it in the past, but has not done it now”.

On Tuesday, counsel for the Executive Office Philip McAteer told the court there is no argument about whether or not the redress scheme should be implemented, it should but it must be done properly.

‘Power approval or funding’
He said: “It isn’t straightforward. It can’t be done by the Executive Office alone. It doesn’t have the power, approval or funding to do it.”

The inquiry into abuse and neglect at children’s homes run by religious orders and the state began public hearings in 2014.

In his report in 2017, inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart recommended compensation of between £7,500 and £100,000 should be paid to survivors.

Survivors have been waiting for two years for the compensation scheme, recommended by the HIA chairman Sir Anthony Hart , to be set up.

The hearing continues.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Tara Mills for the original story

Bradley set to face no-confidence vote in her own constituency

The North of Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley

 

 

 

 

Under-pressure the North of Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley is to face a vote of no confidence from her local party over her Brexit voting record.

Conservatives in Mrs Bradley’s Staffordshire Moorlands constituency are angry about her support for a delay to Brexit.

The embattled Cabinet minister has already faced calls to resign this month for stating in the House of Commons that killings carried out by the security forces during the Troubles were “not crimes”.

She later apologised to the families of victims in a highly public and humiliating U-turn.

Mrs Bradley was also criticised in September for admitting she did not know that nationalists did not vote for unionists and vice versa when she took charge of the North of Ireland.

The Stoke Sentinel reported that Mike Howson, of the Moorlands Conservative Association, wants a vote of no confidence in her at organisation’s annual general meeting this Friday, or as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of people angry at how our MP has voted, especially to extend Article 50, over the Brexit debate,” he said

Another member, Ross Ward, said any such vote would have to be taken in a separate session after the meeting.

The criticism comes as Prime Minister Theresa May, who counts Mrs Bradley among her dwindling number of supporters, confirmed she would step down if her Brexit deal was approved by Parliament.

Mrs Bradley said: “I have received many emails from constituents concerning my voting record and would like to clarify the situation.

“I recognise votes in Parliament can be complicated, and it has been extremely difficult to follow. My objective throughout the Brexit process has been to respect the result of the referendum and see the UK leave the EU.”

She said she voted to leave the EU on March 29 with the Government’s deal, which was rejected by the House of Commons.

“The Commons then held votes to determine whether we were prepared to leave without a deal,” Mrs Bradley added.

“Some MPs want to take no-deal off the table altogether and, while I think we should leave with a deal, I recognise that keeping no-deal on the table helps our negotiating position, so I voted against taking no-deal off the table.”

The North of Ireland Secretary said she opposed a second referendum but “it has become clear” there will be no Brexit at all unless there is a delay.

“This time I voted for a motion that asks the EU for a short extension to Article 50. This is not to keep the UK in, but to make sure we can leave with a deal,” she said. “If we don’t get this deal through, it is not the case that we will leave without a deal – we won’t leave at all.

“This vote gives time to get agreement and ensure Brexit happens.”

She said all her votes were consistent with the Conservative Party’s manifesto and her focus was to get a majority of MPs to back the deal to let the UK leave “as soon as possible”.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Allan Preston for the original story

DUP’s Nigel Dodds says the North of Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley should be sacked

The British Secretary of State for the North of Ireland needs to step aside

Mr Dodds said Ms Bradley has led a “dysfunctional department” and that she – among others on the Tory front bench – should be sacked

Karen Bradley should go according to the Mr Dodds
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The Westminster leader of the DUP has said Theresa May should sack Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley.

Mr Dodd’s intervention breaks as his party is in the middle of tense negotiations with the Conservative government to back Mrs May’s twice defeated withdrawal arrangement.

The DUP agreed to prop up Mrs May’s Government in a confidence and supply agreement in 2017, the party secured an extra £1 billion in funding for Northern Ireland.

Ahead of a third vote on the PM’s deal the DUP and Conservatives were locked in tense negotiations on Friday.

The party entered into an agreement with the Conservatives after the 2017 general election

READ MORE
Brexit: Theresa May’s team holding ‘ongoing and significant’ talks with DUP

But in an interview with House Magazine the Mr Dodds said Ms Bradley has led a “dysfunctional department” and that she – among others on the front bench – should be sacked from the government’s front bench.

Karen Bradley has been at the heart of a number of controversial statements – including saying she did not understand why people in Northern Ireland voted on Unionist or Nationalist lines.

Last week she provoked fury from the Nationalist community when she suggested that British soldiers in Northern Ireland had not commited criminal offences during the Troubles.

Mr Dodds said “I think that Karen has, perhaps, not been as out there in terms of getting across the people in Northern Ireland, talking to them, meeting with groups, and all the rest of it as some of her predecessors.

“Brexit and the votes here has meant that maybe she hasn’t had as much time.

“But her basic policy approach has been flawed in the sense that she has decided that Northern Ireland could just stand still, leave it to the civil servants.

“That’s a glaring failure on her part. She has not taken a grip and shown the leadership that she should have.”

When asked if he would like to see a change of leadership in the Northern Ireland office, he replied:

“I think the Government needs to have a change of leadership in a number of departments, yes, across the board.”

Nigel Dodds has proven to be just as controversial as Karen Bradley. As can be seen by the letter on the right. Where he is lobbying for no more Catholic homes to be built in North Belfast

Speaking after leaving talks yesterday Mr Dodds said that the government talks were “constructive”.

He added: “We have had a long series of discussions with a series of Cabinet ministers today.

“We have had a constructive dialogue. Those discussions will continue over the coming period of time.”

Asked if extra cash for Northern Ireland had been discussed with Chancellor Philip Hammond, Mr Dodds said: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer is obviously a key member of the Government, but he is also responsible for HMRC and the whole issue of their involvement in customs and other regulatory issues is a key concern for us.”

With many thanks to the: Daily Mirror for the original story

Chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust makes another call for the North of Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley to resign

Tony Doherty, chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust

The Chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust in Derry, has again called on the Secretary of State to resign after releasing a statement on Thursday regarding the Bloody Sunday prosecutions.

The British Secretary of State for the North of Ireland needs to step aside

Tony Doherty said: “It appears that Karen Bradley cannot utter a single word regarding the legacy of conflict without stumbling into the carnage of Britain’s colonial legacy in Ireland.

“To say, on one hand and in literally the same breath, that she is “indebted to those who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” before offering sympathy to the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday, simply beggars belief.”

On Thursday evening, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley issued a statement commending the “courage and distinction” of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland.

She said: “We are indebted to those who served with courage and distinction to bring peace in Northern Ireland, and I have the deepest sympathy for the suffering of the families of those who were killed on Bloody Sunday and all those who lost loved ones during the Troubles.

“Everyone agrees that the current process for investigating the past in Northern Ireland needs to be reformed.

The letter that was sent to the Bloody Sunday victims families

“That is why we need to get the institutions to investigate the past set up quickly and completed as soon as possible. We Will set out how we intend to move forward shortly.

“As this is now an ongoing legal matter, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”

Earlier this month, the Secretary of State faced calls to resign after she told the Commons that killings carried out by the security forces “were not crimes”, but rather actions of those “fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.

She later tried to clarify her comments before making an apology the following day.

Karen Bradley

Tony Doherty continued: “Karen Bradley needs to withdraw that statement and needs to resign before she causes more offence tomorrow. Her crassness is fathomless. The British army did not bring peace. To the people of Derry the Parachute Regiment brought murder, mayhem and injustice on a wholesale basis, the impact of which we are still dealing with to the present day.

“To confer the description of peace-keepers on state killers rubs salt on the wounds of the many hundreds of families who lost loved ones to state violence. Karen Bradley’s inability and unwillingness to tell the difference between peace-keeper and perpetrator means that she is unfit for public office and can have no further role here. She should resign and she should do it today.”

With many thanks to: Derry Now for the original story

 

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