DUP MLA Alastair Ross stepping down from Stormont

DUP MLA Alastair Ross at Stormont with party leader 
Arlene Foster
DUP MLA Alastair Ross at Stormont with party leader Arlene Foster

DUP MLA Alastair Ross has announced he will not be sseking re-election to the NI Assembly.

The East Antrim Assemblyman, who was returned for a third term in the 2016 election, said it had been an “enormous privilege” to represent the people in his constituency.

Mr Ross served as Assembly Private Secretary for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment until September 2014 when he was appointed as Chair of the Justice Committee.

Following the 2016 Assembly election he was appointed as a Junior Minister in the Office of the First Minister.

Mr Ross said: “I had taken a decision when elected in May 2016 that it would be my final election.

“The past 10 years has had its challenges, but there is no doubt that devolution is important for Northern Ireland and that having local representatives taking decisions is immeasurably better than direct rule.

“During that time I am particularly proud of my work in regard to criminal justice reform, playing my part in bringing the Giro d’Italia to Northern Ireland and my stand against dangerous presumed consent legislation.”

Mr Ross also paid tribute to his party leader Arlene Foster, who he described as “a friend”.

He added: “Arlene has been subjected to the most unfair and relentless campaign against her in recent months, but over my time at Stormont I can genuinely say that I have not seen anyone devote more time, energy or commitment to improving the lives of people in Northern Ireland than Arlene Foster.

“This election is about who people want to lead this country and I intend on continuing to do what I can to ensure that unionism continues to be led by a strong DUP team.”