Belfast Telegraph

DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt stands down

DUP Assembly Member Jimmy Spratt is stepping down on health grounds in September, the party said.

Mr Spratt has battled bowel cancer for some time.

He has represented South Belfast since 2007, when power-sharing was established between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

He said: "Whilst I am sad that the public representative chapter of my life is now closing, my health must take precedence over the unrelenting nature of an MLA's schedule.

"The role demands my attention seven days per week and many meetings take place late in the evening.

"To make a full recovery it is essential that my workload is lessened. However, whilst not in public life, I will continue to help the party in any way I can."

He has been a member of the Policing Board and chaired Stormont's regional development committee.

The former policeman chaired the Police Federation of Northern Ireland.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "Jimmy has been a vital part of the DUP team both during his time on Castlereagh Borough Council and within the Assembly.

"He has served the public throughout his career, firstly within front-line policing and then as an elected representative.

"That dedication was demonstrated in 2012 when he rearranged one of his chemotherapy sessions so he could fulfil his chairman's duties at a meeting of the regional development committee.

"Jimmy has been a great friend as well as a colleague and I wish him well as he steps back from public life. I know he will continue to be a valuable source of advice for the party in South Belfast."


From Belfast Telegraph