Belfast Telegraph

DUP given eight seats on Westminster select committees

By Victoria Leonard

The DUP has secured eight seats in key parliamentary select committees, giving the party influence on crucial issues including Brexit and defence.

The new appointments indicate the local party's continuing close relationship with the Tories, despite criticism of the DUP's stance on social issues such as abortion and same sex-marriage.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson will sit on the Brexit select committee, while South Belfast MP Emma Little-Pengelly will take a seat on the select committee on international trade.

South Antrim representative Paul Girvan will sit on the transport select committee, while Upper Bann MP David Simpson will represent the party on the select committee for environment, food and rural affairs.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson will take his place on the defence select committee.

Three DUP members - Ian Paisley, Gregory Campbell and Jim Shannon - will sit on the Northern Ireland Affairs select committee.

Tweeting his support for the appointments, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that the appointments would give Northern Ireland "a crucial voice on many important issues".

Mr Wilson tweeted: "The opportunities for Northern Ireland and the UK after Brexit are endless.

"I will be a strong voice for NI on the committee as we prepare to leave."

The Northern Ireland affairs committee chairman is Dr Andrew Murrison, Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire.

He is a former Royal Navy medical officer and a former junior minister in the Northern Ireland Office. He is married to Jennifer, a physiotherapist. They have five daughters and live near Mere in Wiltshire.

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