ANDREA Leadsom and Julian Smith have been sacked from the Cabinet as Boris Johnson begins his reshuffle.
Mr Smith, who served as Northern Ireland Secretary, said on Twitter: “Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege. I am extremely grateful to @BorisJohnson for giving me the chance to serve this amazing part of our country. The warmth & support from people across NI has been incredible. Thank you so much.”
Marty Adams of historical abuse victims campaign group Survivors Together had earlier said sacking Mr Smith, who helped broker the deal to restore the Stormont administration, was “disastrous”, adding: “We won’t find his like again.”
The sacking of Mr Smith showed the Prime Minister’s “dangerous indifference”, the leader of the nationalist SDLP party said.
Colum Eastwood wrote on Twitter: “Thank you @JulianSmithUK for your tireless commitment to devolution, for the work you’ve done for victims of historical institutional abuse & for securing much needed resource for Derry.
“Sacking the most successful SoS in a decade shows Johnson’s dangerous indifference to us.”
Mrs Leadsom who was Business Secretary also took to social media.
She tweeted: “It has been a real privilege to serve in Government for the last six years, and in @beisgovuk for six months. I now look forward to focusing on my constituents and on my 20+ year campaign to see every baby get the best start in life.
“I’m particularly proud of my work in BEIS on net zero and the #CountDowntoCOP and on making the U.K. the best place in the world to work and to grow a business. Huge thanks to my brilliant team in @BEISGovUK.
“I will continue from the back benches to work to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect,” she added.
Another casualty, Universities Minister Chris Skidmore, said he would have “more time to spend” with his family.
He tweeted: “Got a promotion in the #reshuffle to be a better Dad with more time to spend with this gorgeous little one…. Thanks everyone who I’ve had the chance to work with and the civil service teams that have supported me- you have all been amazing.”
Esther McVey said she was “very sorry” to have been sacked as housing minister.
She tweeted: “I’m very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister I wish my successor the very best & every success I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government & he will continue to have my support from the back benches.”