News Item: Government Changes and Reshuffles Expected in February

Following the General Election in December, some ministerial changes were announced but a more significant and far-reaching reshuffle of ministers is now expected during February. There is speculation that this may include changes to some government departments with others being abolished, merged or re-focused. However, we do know that the Brexit department will be abolished on 31st January 2020, when the UK formally leaves the EU.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP, will present his first Budget on 11th March 2020. This was postponed from November due to the General Election.

The political parties in Northern Ireland have reached agreement on a new five-party power-sharing settlement which will enable the Assembly to reconvene and an Executive (government) to be established. The backlog on key decisions, many relating to construction and infrastructure, will be an early priority. There are ongoing discussions with the UK government on financial support and particularly, the relative pay levels in the public sector of Northern Ireland.

New local ministers have been announced, including the First and Deputy First Ministers, both of whom have a key role in leading the consensus approach to decision-making in Nothern Ireland.

We have the following update from HAE EHA parliamentary coverage partner Randall’s Monitoring:

Northern Ireland Assembly

Saturday 11th January 2020

Summary of what was agreed at Saturday’s meeting of the Assembly

Executive
First Minister Arlene Foster (DUP)
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill (Sinn Féin)
Minister for Justice Naomi Long (Alliance)
Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds (DUP)
Minister for Education Peter Weir (DUP)
Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots (DUP)
Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey (Sinn Féin)
Minister for Finance Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Minister for Health Robin Swann (UUP)
Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon (SDLP)

Junior Ministers
Gordon Lyons (DUP)
Declan Kearney (Sinn Féin)

Assembly
Speaker Alex Maskey (Sinn Féin)
Deputies Christopher Stalford (DUP); Roy Beggs (UUP); and Patsy McGlone (SDLP)

Source: Randalls Monitoring, 15th January 2020