Alliance Leader pays tribute to Julian Smith

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has paid tribute to Julian Smith, after he was sacked as Secretary of State as part of a Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Smith lasted 204 days in the role, recently overseeing the talks process which led to the New Decade New Approach deal.

“We have seen tributes paid from across the entire political spectrum here, which is testament to Julian Smith’s impact as Secretary of State and the impression of him as someone who showed a genuine interest in Northern Ireland,” said Mrs Long.

“His legacy will be the New Decade New Approach deal, which he helped achieve and worked hard to get over the line. He also engaged with groups and organisations his predecessors had not necessarily been involved with, such as the victims and survivors of institutional abuse.

“It appears the Prime Minister is seeking a Cabinet of yes people, which given the history of this particular Government, can only be a bad thing for Northern Ireland and the wider UK.

“We are still in the early, fragile days of New Decade New Approach. I hope the new Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis MP, shows an early commitment to it and following it through.”