Meet Northern Ireland's newest 'eco warrior' MLA as Green Party member joins dormant Assembly
This is Northern Ireland's newest MLA, the Green Party member and "eco warrior" Rachel Woods.
Ms Woods is the party's new North Down MLA, replacing former party leader Steven Agnew.
On signing the official register, she refused to designate as unionist or nationalist, opting instead to go down as "eco warrior". MLAs usually designate as being a member of one of the main communities or "other".
Done and dusted! @rachelwoods52 signed the register to officially become MLA for North Down this morning.— Green Party NI (@GreenPartyNI) October 7, 2019
Refusing to designate as “Unionist” & “Nationalist” Rachel designated herself “Eco Warrior” 🌍 ✅ 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/1JPAg2llbn
Ms Woods was a councillor on Ards and North Down Borough Council and previously worked as constituency office manager for Mr Agnew.
Steven Agnew stood down as North Down MLA in September to take up a role with a renewable energy firm. He was previously party leader for seven years before stepping down in 2018.
Prior to entering politics, Ms Woods worked as a researcher and economic analyst for Analyse Africa, a Financial Times subsidiary, and as a supervisor in Holywood bar The Dirty Duck Ale House.
The new North Down MLA, and Holywood native said she was delighted to take up the role.
"There are serious challenges ahead - not least climate breakdown, Brexit and lack of funding for our public services," she said.
Green Party leader Clare Bailey said she had "bags of ability and a real commitment to making a difference for people."
Northern Ireland's Stormont Assembly has not sat since Monday, March 13, 2017.
Members are currently on a reduced salary of £35,888.
Belfast Telegraph Digital