My plans involve going to the pub, says Yorkshire MP Julian Smith after being sacked as Northern Ireland Secretary

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Sacked Cabinet minister Julian Smith has been swiftly reminded of his exit meeting with Boris Johnson in an exchange with school pupils.

Mr Smith was replaced on Thursday as Northern Ireland Secretary by Brandon Lewis as part of the Prime Minister's reshuffle.

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith

Following a visit to a school in his constituency of Skipton and Ripon on Friday, Mr Smith tweeted about being asked what it was like to meet Mr Johnson.

During the visit, Mr Smith said the pupil had asked him if he knew Mr Johnson, responding that he did.

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Having then been asked when he last met the Prime Minister and telling the child he had met Mr Johnson on Thursday, the pupil asked: "Really! How was it?"

Mr Smith, having been sacked from his Cabinet role on Thursday, said he told the pupil: "Er, er, er... great, it was just great."

Speaking to Sky News earlier on Friday, Mr Smith said he wished his successor the best of luck in the role.

"I think my future plans are things like going to the pub," said the MP.

"I'm now going to my constituency but I wish the new Cabinet, new Secretary of State, all the best of luck."

Having spoken to journalists, he told those assembled: "Hope you don't get too cold."

His sacking comes after the former chief whip's success in delivering a power-sharing deal in the fragile region, which saw the Northern Ireland Assembly restored after three years of deadlock.

Allies of Mr Smith said they were shocked at the decision to dismiss him from the Cabinet.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hailed Mr Smith as "one of Britain's finest politicians of our time".

The move to axe Mr Smith came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson carried out a reshuffle of his top team.

Downing Street reportedly felt left out of the loop over the terms of the deal Mr Smith was negotiating last month, which eventually led to the Assembly functioning again after a three-year suspension.

There are concerns in Tory circles that the agreement includes plans for a historical investigations unit whose remit will include alleged crimes by British soldiers during the Troubles.

But those close to Mr Smith insisted that Number 10 and the Prime Minister had been kept fully informed about the terms of the Stormont arrangement.