Karen Bradley MP was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 8 January 2018. She was Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from July 2016 to January 2018. She was elected Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands in May 2010.
Karen was educated at Buxton Girls’ School and Imperial College London, and graduated with a BSc in Mathematics.
Karen contested Manchester Withington at the 2005 general election, coming third. She was selected for Staffordshire Moorlands in July 2006 and was returned to Parliament at the General Election in 2010. Karen served as a member of the Select Committee on Work and Pensions, the Procedure Committee and the Administration Committee before she was appointed as a government minister.
Karen served in the Government Whips’ Office from September 2012 until February 2014. She then served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Home Office from February 2014 until July 2016.
Career outside politics
Karen is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser and worked in public practice from 1991 to 2004, first for Deloitte & Touche and then for KPMG. In 2004, she became a self-employed fiscal and economic consultant. Karen rejoined KPMG in 2007, where she remained until shortly before her election to the House of Commons.
Karen is married with 2 sons.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Northern Ireland Office, advances UK government interests in Northern Ireland and represents Northern Ireland interests in the Cabinet.
The Secretary of State leads on:
Political stability and relations with the Northern Ireland Executive
National security and counter-terrorism
Implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, including legacy of the past
Representing Northern Ireland in the Cabinet on EU exit, including new economic opportunities
International interest in Northern Ireland, including relations with the Irish government
Previous roles in government
- 2016 to 2018
- 2014 to 2016
- 2013 to 2014
- 2012 to 2013
- Secretary of State's speech to Northern Ireland Business Leaders
- First ever UK-wide veterans strategy launched
- Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) communiqué: 13 November 2018
- Northern Ireland Terrorism Legislation - Annual Statistics 2017/18
- Guidance on decision-making for Northern Ireland Departments
- NI Terrorism Legislation: Annual Statistics 2016/17 (Revision)
- Joint Communiqué of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference 2 November 2018
- British-Irish Inter-Governmental Conference
- Secretary of State speech at the opening debate on Executive Formation & Exercise of Functions Bill
- Secretary of State's speech to British Irish Parliamentary Assembly