Dunno about Julian Smith, he seemed to be getting good feedback from the NI parties as well as the Irish government for his work as NI SoS, and he actually seemed genuinely interested in the role with his peak being to help restore the Stormont Assembly. Far, far better than his predecessor Karen Brady whom admitted in public that prior to getting the post she had as much knowledge of the NI political environment as Kanye West knows about being humble or James Corden knows about being funny. Methinks that Smith was for whatever reason not in Johnson's good books - probably willing to stand up for himself in cabinet meetings if rumours are to be believed.
Drifting slightly off topic, when Patrick Mayhew was NI SoS back in the 90's, he visited the special school that my then four year old young sister (whom had severe learning difficulties and sadly passed away a few years ago) attended. Mayhew went up to my sister fairly closely to talk but ended up getting a slap to the face for his troubles - not a "bitch slap" kind of slap that no four year old could be really capable of, more a "move away, I don't want you" kind of slap/push.
What? That Javid, the financial expert who was going to steer us through the Scylla and Charybdys of EU departure.
It's as if Nathan Barley actually existed, but is now in his mid to late 40's.
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