Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Edwin Poots looking at job opportunities outside of politics due to 'uncertain' Northern Ireland future

DUP MLA Edwin Poots has said he is looking at options outside of politics due to the "uncertain" future in Northern Ireland.

The former Health Minister told the BBC: "I think it's something most wise politicians would be looking at now that the future is uncertain.

"We need to be looking at other options."

The Lagan Valley MLA was culture minister in 2007 and health minister in 2011.

Mr Poots said that his preference would be to stay in politics with a working Stormont but he revealed he was talking about job opportunities with people on a "regular basis".

Northern Ireland has been without a functioning Executive since last January despite a number of attempts at talks which have failed to break the political impasse.

He added: "The last year has not been a year that has had much fulfilment for any politician."

In addition the leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland said he has been actively searching for part-time work ahead of expected cuts to MLAs' pay.

Steven Agnew told the Press Association he has taken the decision because he has "two kids to care for and bills to pay".

In December the Northern Ireland Secretary was advised to cut MLA salaries by £13,612 in the absence of a sitting Assembly at Stormont.

Mr Agnew said: "I am not looking out of politics but I have actively started looking for additional work.

"I am looking at offering consultancy work around leadership for social change. I still plan to keep on my role in the Assembly, but reflecting the pay cut I need to seek to make up the income elsewhere," he added. 

Mr Agnew said he is still devoting himself full-time to politics but that seeking additional work "is a necessity of making up income".

In December SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said that he might return to a law career.

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