The UK's Northern Ireland Secretary didn't know anything about Irish voting 4 years ago

The UK's Northern Ireland Secretary didn't know anything about Irish voting

"I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland - people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa."

The UK's Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley has proven that she knows very little about the political history of Northern Ireland.

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Bradley said, when she was appointed earlier this year, she did not understand election campaigns were generally fought within each part of the community, rather than across it. She made the revelations in an interview with the Westminster's weekly magazine, The House.

"I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland - people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa," she said.

"So, the parties fight for election within their own community.

"Actually, the unionist parties fight the elections against each other in unionist communities and nationalists in nationalist communities."

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Karen Bradley took over from James Brokenshire in January this year and said in the interview that she was unaware of the political divisions between the two communities in the country.

"That's a very different world from the world I came from, where in Staffordshire Moorlands I was fighting a Labour-held seat as a Conservative politician and I was trying to put forward why you would want to switch from voting Labour to voting Conservative.

"That is so incredibly different and it's when you realise that, and you see that, that you can then start to understand some of the things that the politicians say and some of the rhetoric."

Despite the comments, Prime Minister Theresa May has confidence in Bradley to do her job.

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"The Northern Ireland Secretary is working incredibly hard to restore devolved government to Northern Ireland," a Number 10 spokeswoman told the BBC.

Asked if the PM remained confident that Bradley was able to do the job, the spokeswoman said: "Yes, she is working very closely with the parties there."