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Shailesh Vara’s CV doesn’t suggest he is in the mould of the impressive Julian Smith

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The new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland doesn’t have big boots to fill. Brandon Lewis is most definitely not a hard act to follow.

The bar for the job has never been set particularly high for the Tories. Some mediocrity is usually thrown in at the deep end and told to swim. The only exception to the rule in recent years has been the immensely impressive Julian Smith.

The incumbent generally aims to be a safe pair of hands in the hope that doing nothing extraordinary will lead to promotion back to London in as short a time as possible.

But judging even by less than stellar standards, Brandon Lewis was woeful. Not for one second did he manage to convince us that he wanted to be here.

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He never took the time to get to know this place or its people. There was no love lost........

© Belfast Telegraph

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