SKIPTON MP Julian Smith has been sacked as Northern Ireland Secretary after seven months in the post.

Mr Smith was appointed in July 2019, taking over from Karen Bradley. His sacking is part of prime minister Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle.

Only last month, Mr Smith oversaw talks which led to the Northern Ireland parties agreeing a deal to restore a power-sharing government at Stormont.

Mr Smith has been an MP for Skipton and Ripon since 2010 and served Theresa May as chief whip before being made the NI Secretary.

In a Twitter message this morning, Mr Smith said: "Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege. I am extremely grateful to @BorisJohnson for giving me the chance to serve this amazing part of our country. The warmth & support from people across NI has been incredible. Thank you so much."