NI Secretary of State meets Tanaiste Simon Coveney in Belfast

The new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has held a meeting with the Tanaiste Simon Coveney in Belfast.

It is the first time that Brandon Lewis has met with the Irish deputy premier after he replaced Julian Smith in the Cabinet reshuffle last week.

Mr Smith was sacked as the Secretary of State weeks after he helped broker a deal that saw the Northern Ireland institutions restored.

Cabinet reshuffle
Cabinet reshuffle

Mr Lewis and the Tanaiste held a meeting at Stormont on Friday afternoon.

The visit comes weeks after Mr Coveney helped secure the New Decade, New Approach deal.

It is Mr Coveney’s first visit to Belfast after Fine Gael suffered huge losses in the general election in the Republic.

Mr Coveney will remain as caretake Tanaiste until he is replaced, however it could take some time before a new government is in place in the Dail.

On his first visit to Northern Ireland as Secretary of State, Mr Lewis said he is committed to delivering on the Government’s proposals to address the legacy of past violence and build on promises made by his predecessor.