Northern Ireland news

Cara Hunter is new SDLP health spokesperson

Cara Hunter is the SDLP's new health spokesperson

THE SDLP has appointed East Derry MLA Cara Hunter as its health spokesperson.

Ms Hunter will be appointed to Stormont's Health Committee, succeeded South Down MLA Colin McGrath in the role.

Mr McGrath, who is chair of the assembly's Executive Office Committee, has fulfilled the health spokesperson's role on a temporary basis.

Ms Hunter, who was co-opted into the assembly in May following the death of John Dallat, said she was excited to be taking on the new role.

"I will focus particularly strongly in my new role on mental health and fighting hard for mental health provision and services that meets the need of people right across the north," she said.

"Even before Covid-19, our mental health provision was already woefully inadequate, but given the mental health implications of the pandemic and lockdown, it is essential we invest in these services and supporting people."

Party leader Colum Eastwood said: "This appointment reflects the growing talent pool within the SDLP and our commitment to giving new voices the chance to shape public policy."

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