SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA unveiled his new team of party spokespeople today at an event in Belfast at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach. The spokespeople will shadow the nine new NI Executive Departments which are set to be in place in the next Assembly mandate. The party is the first to do so and the team will include MLAs and councillors from across the North.
“This new team is the embodiment of the new SDLP which will deliver a new and positive alternative for people across Northern Ireland. Everyone here today has a strong track record of delivery in their local communities and are committed to delivering new politics for people right across the north.
“That means a focus on providing jobs for young workers, an end to forced emigration and delivering pledges on the economy, on healthcare and on tackling crime. This is what we will focus on in the upcoming election.
“The North needs a different government. One thing that unites us all is our disappointment in the current government. The SDLP will fight the upcoming election to take part in a new government but we are also clear that this is the last Assembly mandate in which there will be no opposition at Stormont.
“Power sharing structures where the Executive is held properly accountable is the only way we can ensure effective government. It is the only way we put an end to the arrogance, cynicism and cronyism which has become a permanent feature of politics here. That ends today.”
The party’s spokespeople are:
- Mark H Durkan MLA – Environment Minister
- Alex Atwood MLA – Department of Justice
- Claire Hanna MLA – Department of Finance
- Dolores Kelly MLA – Department of Education, with Sinead Bradley
- Cllr Nichola Mallon – Department for Communities, with Cllr Roisin Lynch & Justin McNulty (with special focus on sport)
- Daniel McCrossan MLA – Department for Infrastructure, with Cllr Richie McPhillips
- Fearghal McKinney MLA – Department of Health, with Cllr Colin McGrath
- Patsy McGlone MLA – Department for the Economy, with Gerard Diver MLA (with special focus on Further and Higher Education) and Connor Duncan (with special focus on SMEs)
- Sean Rodgers MLA – Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, with Cllr Margaret Anne McKillop
- Karen McKevitt MLA – Assembly Whip, APS.