Karen Anne Bradley (née Howarth, born 12 March 1970) is a British Conservative Party politician serving as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since 2018, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Staffordshire Moorlands since 2010.
Bradley was appointed to the Cameron Government in 2014 as Minister of State for the Home Department. During the formation of the May Government in July 2016, she was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, where she remained until being appointed Northern Ireland Secretary in January 2018.
Early life and careerEdit
Bradley was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Her family moved to Buxton and she was educated at the local comprehensive, Buxton Girls' School and Imperial College London, graduating with a BSc in Mathematics.
In 1991, Bradley joined Deloitte & Touche and became a tax manager, and after seven years she became a senior tax manager with KPMG. In 2004 she set up business as a fiscal and economic consultant before rejoining KPMG in 2007, where she remained until her election to the House of Commons.
Bradley was a member of the Conservative Party's A-List and was selected for Staffordshire Moorlands in July 2006. She was elected as the constituency's member of parliament at the 2010 general election.
Following her election to Parliament in 2010, Bradley was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee from 2010, and in May 2012 was elected co-secretary of the backbench 1922 Committee. She relinquished these positions on her appointment to the Government Whips' Office in September 2012. In February 2014, she was promoted to the Home Office as a junior minister. In July 2016, she was appointed as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in Theresa May's first cabinet.
During the cabinet reshuffle in 2018, Bradley was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland after the resignation of James Brokenshire due to ill health. Matt Hancock replaced her as Culture Secretary. In July 2018 she came under criticism in the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee for failing to take action on British government discrimination against former soldiers and police. Andrew Murrison challenged her on her account of what she had done, and she said she would write to him. Sylvia Hermon commented: "I wait and wait for letters."
In late November 2016, she was severely criticised for vetoing the appointment of a 'high calibre' black female candidate (Althea Efunshile, a former deputy chief of Arts Council England) as a non-executive director on the board of the state-owned broadcaster, Channel 4, while confirming the appointment of the other four candidates, all white men. This action led to a letter of complaint being sent to her by a cross-party group of MPs. On 12 December 2017, the government announced that it had appointed Althea Efunshile as one of four new non-executive directors on the Channel 4 board.
In September 2018 she was criticised[by whom?] for admitting in an interview for House magazine, a weekly publication for the Houses of Parliament, that she had not understood Northern Irish politics before being appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. "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.
In March 2019 she was criticised by all sides in Northern Ireland and faced calls to resign for invoking the Nuremberg defence when defending the actions of UK forces during the Troubles, saying: "The fewer than 10% [of killings] that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes, they were people acting under orders and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way." A "clarification" on her remarks was made by Bradley later that day in the House of Commons, and the following day she issued an apology. The families of victims raised concerns that Bradley was attempting to influence a UK government decision on whether or not to prosecute British soldiers involved in killing 14 civilians on Bloody Sunday.
- Culture, Media and Sport (2016–2017)
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- Sweney, Mark (29 November 2016). "BME woman blocked from Channel 4 board as four white men join". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016 – via The Guardian.
- Sweney, Mark (5 December 2016). "Black woman vetoed for Channel 4 job was Arts Council England deputy chief". Archived from the original on 6 December 2016 – via The Guardian.
- Sweney, Mark (12 December 2017). "Althea Efunshile joins Channel 4 board after government U-turn". Archived from the original on 12 December 2017 – via The Guardian.
- "Karen Bradley: "I'm not here for the headlines. I'm here to get the best thing for the country"". PoliticsHome.com. 6 September 2018.
- McConnell, Daniel (6 March 2019). "Karen Bradley faces resignation calls following controversial Troubles comment". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Obeying Orders". broadsheet.ie. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Karen Bradley faces calls to resign over Troubles comments". BBC News. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Breaking – Karen Bradley 'profoundly sorry' over killings comments". RTÉ. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
- O'Carroll, Lisa; Bowcott, Owen; Walker, Peter (7 March 2019). "Karen Bradley facing continued resignation calls despite apology" – via www.theguardian.com.
- "Is there more to Karen Bradley than a love of crime fiction?". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 11 November 2016 – via WebArchive.
- karenbradley.co.uk — Bradley's website
- Bradley on TheyWorkForYou.com
- Bradley on Conservative Party site
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Staffordshire Moorlands
| Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
| Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
|Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom,|
Secretary of State