Former chief whip Julian Smith is new Secretary of State

NI Secretary of State Julian Smith
NI Secretary of State Julian Smith

The former chief whip Julian Smith is Boris Johnson's new Secretary of State for the North.

He was appointed by the new British Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster commented: "We welcome the appointment of Julian Smith as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and wish him well in the role.

"We will be seeking a meeting with him at the earliest opportunity to impress upon him the importance of the £1.2billion per annum hospitality sector in Northern Ireland and its central role in the economy here.

"He needs to understand right from the start that we must not leave the EU without a deal; the restoration of the Assembly and Executive is paramount; and reform of the outdated property based UK rating system is needed as it is now broken and crippling our members businesses.”