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Deborah Erskine confirmed as new Fermanagh-South Tyrone DUP MLA

Former press officer replaces Arlene Foster.

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Former First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster visits The Buddy Bear Trust in Co. Tyrone. She was accompanied by new party leader Jeffrey Donaldson and new DUP MLA Deborah Erskine who has been co-opted into her assembly seat for Enniskillen. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Former First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster visits The Buddy Bear Trust in Co. Tyrone. She was accompanied by new party leader Jeffrey Donaldson and new DUP MLA Deborah Erskine who has been co-opted into her assembly seat for Enniskillen. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Arlene Foster and Deborah Erskine

Arlene Foster and Deborah Erskine

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Former First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster visits The Buddy Bear Trust in Co. Tyrone. She was accompanied by new party leader Jeffrey Donaldson and new DUP MLA Deborah Erskine who has been co-opted into her assembly seat for Enniskillen. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Deborah Erskine has officially been confirmed as the new MLA for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone seat.

The Electoral Office confirmed the former Fermanagh and Omagh District councillor has replaced Arlene Foster in the constituency, as the Belfast Telegraph reported last month

Former Party leader Arlene Foster had previously announced she would be stepping down from politics by the end of September. 

The 28-year-old, who also previously worked as a DUP press officer, was elected in Erne North in 2019, with Mrs Foster acting as her election agent.

On Thursday, chief electoral officer, Virginia McVea confirmed the change.

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"In accordance with Article 6B(6) of the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001 Deborah Erskine has been returned to serve as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency,” she said.

"Deborah Erskine has been returned as an MLA to fill the vacancy arising from the resignation of Arlene Foster MLA.”

In a post on social media, Arlene Foster wrote: “It’s been an ‘interesting’ year, but I am so pleased that FST [Fermanagh South-Tyrone] has this wonderful, hardworking, capable woman as their new MLA. @deborah_cheryl.

"Thanks to all who have supported me over 18 years of being your MLA - it’s been my huge privilege and btw [sic] I haven’t gone away you know!”

Since announcing her departure from politics earlier this year, Mrs Foster has been carving out a career in the media, including as a contributor on GB News, and speaking out against abuse on social media.

Her ousting as DUP leader sparked turbulence within the party, and her successor Edwin Poots was forced to resign within three weeks before another leadership contest saw Sir Jeffrey Donaldson take the helm.


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