Leaders Council: Ex-NI secretary says Stormont deal had PM's support
Former Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith has said that the Stormont restoration deal was not behind his sacking in last week's cabinet reshuffle and that the agreement had the full approval of prime minister Boris Johnson, the Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland reports.
Speculation had emerged since last Thursday's cabinet reshuffle that prime minister Boris Johnson chose to dispense with Smith over elements linked to the legacy of the Troubles within the Stormont deal, which the ex-NI secretary had brokered.
However, Smith has since written in the Spectator to offer his perspective, and claimed that the deal was seen and supported by the prime minister.
Smith wrote: "On Wednesday night the Times reported my expected fate, suggesting the reason for the chop was that Downing Street had been unaware of key details of the deal to restore Stormont.
"I was grateful for the opportunity to confirm to the journalist that a PM does not sign off a key government deal without reading it first."
The full report may be read on the Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland website here.