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Former DUP MP William McCrea 'honoured' at nomination to House of Lords

Former DUP MP William McCrea has been awarded a place in the House of Lords by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Guardian reports the Prime Minister will approve the creation of around 10 Tory peers and hand at least one to the DUP in an attempt to improve her weak position in the House of Lords, which has voted 15 times against her government over Brexit.

William McCrea, a Free Presbyterian minister who represented South Antrim and Mid Ulster as a Member of Parliament, has been ennobled, taking the DUP from three to four peers.

It is understood the DUP has been handed the right to make a second nomination for the upper house of Parliament.

One name believed to be under consideration is DUP MEP Diane Dodds, who is married to the party's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds.

However, the DUP has denied this.

Dr McCrea said he was looking forward to getting to grips with local issues in his new role.

“I am honoured and humbled that the Party has proposed me for a Life Peerage. I first became involved in elected politics because I couldn’t stand by and see injustice. I wanted to be a voice for those who were being ignored. In the 70s and 80s that was working class unionists but today there are still injustices," he said.

"There are parts of society who feel ignored. Adult learning facilities for people with special needs have incredible need for improvement.  I look forward to joining my colleagues in the House of Lords where I will be playing a full role in campaigning for change on key issues such as adult learning facilities for those with special needs.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster MLA said he would be an excellent addition to the Upper House.

“On behalf of our Party, I warmly congratulate William on the announcement that he is to become a Life Peer. Dr McCrea has an incredible record of public service with thirty-seven years at District Council, twelve years in the Northern Ireland Assembly and twenty-five years as a Member of Parliament. In addition to this Dr McCrea was elected to the 1982 Stormont Assembly and the Northern Ireland Forum in 1996," Mrs Foster said.

"William has always been a huge support and encouragement to me before and since I became leader of the Party.

"Dr McCrea is most deserving of this honour. I know he will use this new position to champion public policy issues such as the provision of adult learning facilities for people with special needs. Undoubtedly he will be an excellent advocate for this cause in the House of Lords.”

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