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Brokenshire remains as Northern Ireland Secretary

James Brokenshire will continue as Northern Ireland Secretary.

James Brokenshire will continue in his role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The announcement was made by Number 10 on Sunday afternoon, as Prime Minister Theresa May met with politicians to form her new cabinet.

James Brokenshire held his Westminster seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup in the General Election and has served as Northern Ireland Secretary since July 2016.


DUP: 'Positive' talks to continue next week

The DUP say talks with the Conservative Party over supporting a minority government will continue next week.

An announcement by Downing Street on Saturday suggested an agreement had already been reached, but both parties released subsequent statements that said talks would continue.

"The DUP today (Saturday) held discussions with representatives of the Conservative Party in line with Arlene Foster's commitment to explore how we might bring stability to the nation at this time of great challenge. The talks so far have been positive," a DUP statement issued on Sunday morning read.

"Discussions will continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement on arrangements for the new Parliament."

Earlier it was reported that Conservative Party chief whip Gavin Williamson would hold talks with the DUP in Belfast.

It was expected the parties would enter into an arrangement on a 'confidence and supply' basis.

However, ITV political editor Robert Peston had earlier said Theresa May preferred a more formal coalition, in the interests of stability.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Chief Whip is in Belfast holding talks with the DUP on how best they can provide support to the Government.

“We will not be providing a running commentary.”

It is understood that Mr Williamson was meeting the DUP's chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.


ANALYSIS: Northern Ireland’s new political landscape

Following the General Election, two parties dominate politics in Northern Ireland - while the two that once held power are in decline.

The DUP and Sinn Féin both strengthened their Westminster representation, returning 10 and seven MPs respectively.

The only other MP was the North Down independent unionist Lady Sylvia Hermon, while the SDLP and UUP lost all of their seats.

As UTV’s Deputy Political Editor Tracey Magee reports, politics is polarising and parties in the so-called middle-ground have been the casualties.

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