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Britain's Northern Ireland minister resigns over ill-health

AFP  |  London 

Britain's James resigned from his post today due to ill- health, nearly a year to the day since the collapse of the once-troubled province's semi-autonomous

resigned in a letter to saying he needed surgery, on the same day the plans a wider reshuffle of her cabinet.

"I have a small lesion in my right lung which needs to be removed. Clearly, my long term health and my family are my priorities and I intend to proceed with at the earliest opportunity," he wrote.

Brokenshire, 50, has hosted repeated unsuccessful negotiations between republicans and the Democratic Unionist Party to form a in British- ruled

Following the breakdown of talks, the province is on the brink of direct rule by civil servants in who have already been managing its budget.

The backed Brokenshire's decision to step down at "an important moment for in Northern Ireland", thanking him for his efforts with a letter in which she urged the parties to re-establish the power-sharing

The administration collapsed in January last year after pulled out over a scandal involving a renewable energy funding scheme.

The was set up as a result of the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which brought to an end three decades of mostly sectarian conflict in that claimed the lives of 3,500 people.

Talks are still stalled on two key demands from Sinn Fein, which backs the legalisation of same-sex marriage and legal protection for the Irish language.

Tensions have been raised further after the DUP struck a power deal with May's ruling after a general election in June, in which she lost her parliamentary majority.

argues that the deal gives the DUP unfair influence over British policy in Northern Ireland, including over Brexit negotiations that will have major implications for Ireland's economy.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 18:20 IST