Monday, January 21, 2008

This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Assembly
Acts: Acts Members: 1998 - 2003 - 2007 Elections: 1998 - 2003 - 2007 Presiding Officer
Northern Ireland Executive
First Minister: Ian Paisley Deputy First Minister: Martin McGuinness Departments and agencies
Local Government Courts of Northern Ireland
United Kingdom Parliament
Committees: Affairs - Grand Members: Commons - Lords Elections: 2005
United Kingdom Government
Northern Ireland Office Secretary of StateDirect Rule
British-Irish Council Electoral CommissionSecretary of State for Northern Ireland North/South Ministerial Council
Belfast Agreement (1998)Tamaqua St Andrews Agreement (2006)
Elections in Northern Ireland
ConstituenciesPolitical parties
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is the United Kingdom cabinet minister who has responsibility for government matters relating Northern Ireland. He or she is only responsible to the UK Parliament at Westminster, and not the Northern Ireland Assembly, even when it is sitting.
The role of the Secretary of State is to represent Northern Ireland interests at Westminster. He or she, along with the ministers of the Northern Ireland Office also perform many of the functions which would otherwise be carried out by the Northern Ireland Assembly if it is not in operation. Even when the assembly is sitting, the role of the Secretary of State still exists, although his role and that of his ministers is greatly diminished.
As neither the Labour nor Conservative parties has ever won a UK parliamentary election in Northern Ireland since its inception, no Northern Ireland Office minister has ever represented a Northern Ireland constituency.

Secretaries of State (1972- present)

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