New Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, was first person informed EU was barring Derry Euro capital bid

Karen Bradley.
Karen Bradley.

The new Secretary of State for the North, Karen Bradley, is familiar with at least one aspect of her new portfolio as she was the first person to have been informed by the European Commission that it was barring Derry and Belfast's European Capital of Culture bid.

Until today officials from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) involved in ongoing talks with the five Irish and British bidders for the 2023 honour - Derry/Belfast, Leeds, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Dundee - had been answerable to, and mandated by, Ms. Bradley.

Back in November the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr Tibor Navracsics' bombshell letter, advising that no Irish nor British bidders from the UK need apply for the title as they won't be a part of the European Union in 2023, as a result of Brexit, landed on her desk.

As DCMS minister she disputed the EU's case that "the participation of the United Kingdom in the European Capital of Culture Union action will not be possible".

The Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands became the 20th Secretary of State for the North following James Brokenshire's resignation on Monday.