Hazzard welcomes appointment of first-ever republican Speaker
Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has welcomed the appointment of Mitchel McLaughlin as the first-ever Nationalist/Republican Speaker of the Assembly.
The South Down MLA:
“I would like to congratulate Mitchel McLaughlin on his election as Speaker of the Assembly.
“Mitchel McLaughlin has a long record in politics going back to the Civil Rights era and I am sure he will bring all his experience to his new role.
“This is an historic day in that it’s the first time that a Nationalist or Republican has held the role since the formation of the state.
“As Principal Deputy Speaker Mitchel secured the trust of the Assembly in debates and in his other duties by the fair and even-handed manner in which he carried out his duties.
“I also welcome the fact the DUP has now honoured its agreement on the election of the speaker. I hope this will be a new beginning in the relationships between the parties in going forward.
"It was disappointing however, that the SDLP refused to support his nomination.
“It is important the Assembly delivers for the electorate and I hope today’s vote signals that the political will is now there to implement remaining commitments in the agreed Programme for Government.”