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Mike Nesbitt reshuffles UUP team at Assembly

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

There have been several changes to the UUP’s Assembly team in a reshuffle announced by new leader Mike Nesbitt.

Tom Elliott, who resigned as leader last month, is to replace Danny Kinahan on the environment committee. He will also replace Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea on the justice committee.

Another ex-leader, Lord Empey, has been appointed party chairman. The post had been offered to former chairman James Cooper, who declined the offer saying that he did not have the time needed to devote to the job.

Mr Kinahan will join the committee for the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers, while John McCallister, who ran against Mr Nesbitt for the leadership, replaces Sandra Overend on the Assembly and Executive review committee. Ms Overend will be deputy whip.

Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has been made a ministerial aide to Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy. Ross Hussey replaces Roy Beggs on Regional Development, and Mr Beggs replaces Mr Hussey on Finance.

Mr Nesbitt said: “I am confident that this team will work together to ensure that the Assembly is delivering for Northern Ireland.”

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