The former DUP MLA Paula Bradley has been announced as the party’s new Glengormley councillor.
Ms Bradley, who chose not to stand in the north Belfast seat at the recent Assembly election, will replace MLA Phillip Brett in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
She described it as a “privilege” to be selected by the party to fill the vacancy in the council, with Mr Brett having been elected in north Belfast with 6,329 first preference votes.
“Stepping back from the Northern Ireland Assembly was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, but it was the right step to take. I am looking forward to again serving the people within this new role,” she said.
“The two new DUP MLAs in North Belfast are a fantastic addition to the team, and it is a privilege to be selected to fill this position within Antrim and Netownabbey Council. I have known Phillip for many years, and he has been an excellent representative for the people of Glengormley.
“I join a great team of DUP Councillors and I will play my part in building on the strong foundations we have to deliver for everyone in the Borough.”
In March, Ms Bradley exclusively revealed to the Belfast Telegraph she was quitting frontline politics to become a full-time carer for her elderly mother and father.
She described the difficulties attempting to juggle her demanding Stormont role with the increasing levels of care needed by her increasingly frail parents had left her physically and mentally exhausted.
She said it was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make”.
She remains as the DUP’s deputy leader.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he was “delighted”.
"Paula has a first-class record of public service since 2005 when she was first elected as a local Councillor and then during her time as an MLA,” he said.
“I want to thank her for stepping forward to take on this role which will allow her to continue representing the community in Glengormley and being an integral part of the DUP team within the wider North Belfast area.”