Daniel McCrossan made SDLP Brexit spokesperson after Claire Hanna's departure
WEST Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has been appointed the SDLP's new spokesperson on Brexit.
Party leader Colum Eastwood made the announcement today. It came after South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna resigned from the SDLP's assembly group following the party's partnership with Fianna Fáil.
Ms Hanna said she remained "unconvinced" that the partnership "is the right vehicle with which to deliver the non-sectarian, transparent and social democratic new Ireland I believe in".
She added that it had not been an easy decision to make and she had "thought long and hard about the outcome and implications".
Ms Hanna, who had been the party's Brexit spokesperson, will continue to represent South Belfast as an SDLP assembly member.
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SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said it was "with regret" that the party accepted Ms Hanna's resignation.
"At the SDLP Special Conference all members were afforded the opportunity to speak and delegates to vote on two motions. The SDLP membership overwhelmingly voted for the party to embark on a partnership with Fianna Fáil," he said.
"It is with regret that we accepts Claire’s resignation. The party membership has democratically spoken and difficult though that decision may be for some, their wishes must be respected and enacted."
Ms Hanna has been critical of the policy partnership which was endorsed by SDLP members at a special meeting on Saturday.
She previously told The Irish News she regards the new north-south relationship as a "merger" that will "narrow" her party's appeal at the polls.
Announcing the new appointment Mr Eastwood said: “As an MLA of a border constituency, Daniel is acutely aware of the challenges facing the north at this critical time as we draw ever closer to March 29.
“The SDLP have been consistently clear that any deal must include a Backstop to ensure the rights of people here are protected."
Mr McCrossan said:“Brexit has brought an unprecedented challenge to our doorstep. I look forward to articulating the needs and wishes of the majority of voters here who did not consent to this.”