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Naomi Long new East Belfast Alliance Assembly candidate

Former East Belfast MP Naomi Long is to stand as an MLA in the constituency. Picture by Arthur Allison

FORMER East Belfast MP Naomi Long is to stand in the Assembly elections.

The Alliance politician will stand in her former constituency, along with party colleagues, sitting East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle, and Tim Morrow.

Alliance East Belfast assembly member Judith Cochrane is to stand down.

Ms Long said she was "delighted" to be nominated.

"East Belfast has been my home all my life and I was truly honoured to have represented it for almost 15 years as a councillor, MLA and then MP," she said.

"I am excited to have the chance to do that once again and I couldn't have asked for better running mates - both Chris and Tim are experienced elected representatives and committed to delivering for everyone in East Belfast."

Ms Long told the BBC on Thursday night that she considered quitting politics following her election defeat in May and only decided to return to politics at Christmas.

The trained civil engineer won the East Belfast Westminster seat in a shock victory over former DUP leader Peter Robinson in 2010.

The DUP's Gavin Robinson took back the seat for his party last year - helped greatly by an electoral pact with the Ulster Unionists.

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