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08 Dec 2021

New Covid Recovery role for McLaughlin

Foyle MLA in SDLP frontbench position switch following reshuffle

Sinead McLaughlin

Of her new frontbench role, Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin said she would be "leading the SDLP's work on Covid recovery and demanding that Derry is treated with the justice and equality my city deserves"

Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin has been given a new SDLP frontbench role following a reshuffle by party leader Colum Eastwood.

Ms McLaughlin vacates her role as Economy Spokesperson to take up the position as as chair of the Assembly's Committee for the Executive Office as well as being the SDLP's spokesperson on Covid Recovery.

The reshuffle also sees a move for East Derry MLA, Cara Hunter. She moves from the position of Mental Health Spokesperson to the role of Climate Champion. Cara will also sit on the Infrastructure Committee.

Ms McLaughlin's fellow Foyle MLA, Mark H Durkan, remains in his post as Communities & Culture Spokesperson.

Foyle MP Mr Eastwood insisted that the shakeup of the party’s spokespeople is about holding Ministers to account and delivering better outcomes for people across the north of Ireland.

He said: “The SDLP has the most energetic and effective front bench teams of any party in the Assembly.

“The changes I have announced today will build on the work we have been doing over the last two years to change the lives of the people we represent.

“At a moment when others are retreating to the politics of boycott, division and deadlock, the SDLP team is committed to breaking down barriers and delivering on the priorities of people in all of our communities.

“That means managing the Covid-19 recovery, addressing the climate crisis and driving forward a prosperity agenda.

“As part of these changes I have created new roles that reflect urgent political priorities.

“Sinead McLaughlin MLA will take on an ambitious new portfolio focussed on Covid recovery. Given the cross-cutting nature of this brief I have appointed Sinead as Chair of the Executive Office Committee where she will hold the First Ministers to account for the abject failure to produce a robust strategy to transform our society.

“I have also appointed Cara Hunter MLA as the SDLP Climate Champion, reflecting the urgent need to address the crisis of global temperature increases and the impact it will have on a whole generation of people.

“The consequences of inaction are severe and the SDLP is bringing tough legislative proposals at Stormont and Westminster that will address the crisis. Cara will also take on a new portfolio focussed on the ambitions and needs of a new generation of young people.

“The SDLP team is full of ambitious and talented public representatives who have the energy and the ideas to transform our society. Applying their skills and experience to their new roles, I know that they’ll deliver for the people we represent.”

Reacting to her new role on Twitter, Sinead McLaughlin said: “My new role starts this week as chair of the Assembly's Committee for the Executive Office, where I will be holding the joint first ministers to account, leading the SDLP's work on Covid recovery and demanding that Derry is treated with the justice and equality my city deserves.”

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