Northern Ireland news

Sinn Fein's Anderson and Mullan to step down next month, party announces

Sinn Féin MLAs Martina Anderson (left) and Karen Mullan - pictured at this year's Chieftain's Walk with former councillor Peter Anderson - are to step down from the Assembly next month. Picture by Twitter
Seamus McKinney

Sinn Féin has announced Foyle MLAs Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan are to step down before the assembly resumes next month.

It had been thought the two assembly members would continue until next year's Stormont elections following a major overhaul of the party in Derry.

However, Sinn Fein president, Mary Lou McDonald announced yesterday the party hopes to select their replacements before the assembly resumes on September 13.

Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan agreed to step down as assembly members in May this year following an unprecedented review of Sinn Féin's operations in Derry linked to poor electoral performances.

Ms McDonald also announced yesterday that Ms Anderson would be taking on a new international role for the party in Europe, promoting Irish unity.

Ms Mullan will take on a regional role overseeing cross border co-ordination between TDs, MLAs, MPs and council groups in the northwest.

Nominations for the Derry assembly positions will open tomorrow.

Ms McDonald said: “Nominations will remain open until 5th September and selection convention will be held in Derry on 8th September in time for those selected to take their seats in the assembly on September 13th, at the beginning of the new sitting.”

Ms Anderson said she decided to step down before the Stormont elections to give her replacement a chance to establish themselves as public representatives.

“This is a period of huge change and opportunity for the party, for our Irish unity platform and I'm looking forward to taking on my role and a fresh challenge,” she said.

Ms Mullan said it had been a privilege to represent Derry as assembly member.

“I want to thank the members of Derry Sinn Féin for the opportunity of being MLA in the city for the party for the last four years,” she said.

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