South Antrim MLA elected Stormont Speaker

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA.
Mitchel McLaughlin MLA.

South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has been elected Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Sinn Fein man was elected to the post when members met at Parliament Buildings on Monday, January 12.

The DUP’s William Hay retired as Speaker in October last year due to ill health.

Mr McLaughlin, from the Bogside area of Londonderry, has been a South Antrim MLA since 2007. He is the first republican Speaker of the House.

Welcoming his fellow South Antrim MLA’s appointment, Alliance Party leader David Ford said: “I would like to offer Mitchel McLaughlin our best wishes as he takes up his new position and I am confident that he will carry out his duties in the same impartial manner in which he carried out his role as Principal Deputy Speaker.

“I would also like to pay tribute once again to his predecessor William Hay for the contribution he made to the Assembly and wish him well following his illness.”