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Villiers to continue as Northern Ireland Secretary

Theresa Villiers will continue as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland following her appointment to the Cabinet by the Prime Minister this afternoon.

Ms Villiers was first appointed Northern Ireland Secretary in September 2012. Earlier this afternoon she said:

I am delighted to be returning as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. This is a key job in the cabinet and I am greatly looking forward to continuing the work we have begun.

It is essential that we make early and rapid progress on implementing the Stormont House Agreement. The Agreement has the potential to deliver significant steps forward for Northern Ireland across a range of issues, including the functioning of the Executive, dealing with the past and building a stronger economy. It is vital therefore that we urgently resolve the issue of welfare reform.

I am looking forward to working with the Executive and the wider community as we seek to build a stable, peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland where politics works, the economy grows and society is stronger and more cohesive.