Belfast Telegraph

'Critical time for NI', says new SDLP deputy leader

By Staff Reporter

The new SDLP deputy leader has said Brexit has ensured that this is a "critical moment" in Northern Ireland politics. North Belfast MLA Nichola Mallon will be formally ratified at the SDLP's annual general meeting on October 7.

She was unanimously backed by the party's MLAs at a meeting of its Parliamentary Assembly Group at Stormont yesterday. An MLA since 2016, Ms Mallon was Lord Mayor of Belfast in 2014-15.

"This is a critical moment for our politics," she said yesterday.

"The challenge we all face is to forge a society based on a positive accommodation of difference and diversity. That challenge is made all the more important following the Brexit Bill vote.

"I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to step up and take on that work within the SDLP and with political parties and civic society across this island."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: "Nichola's unyielding compassion and fierce commitment to social justice and defending the rights of the most vulnerable in our society has made her an outstanding public representative."

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