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Northern Ireland Executive Formation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:25 am, 16th January 2020

I thank my right hon. Friend for his compliment. I was Chief Whip, but cannot remember people making those types of kind remarks. I would also like to point to the work that he did as Business Minister on Bombardier and other issues in Northern Ireland and on making sure that those businesses were retained. On the role of the economy Minister, I was very heartened when I met the Prime Minister and the Executive. Nichola Mallon from the SDLP has taken over that important brief. I can think of no better person to move that issue forward. She talked about turbo-charging the Northern Ireland economy, which matches very well with the priorities of this Government.