13/01/2020

PM Johnson Meets NI Executive Ministers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has met with members of the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont this afternoon, Monday 13 January.

The Conservative leader was accompanied by Secretary of State Julian Smith to mark the restoration of devolution to the region.

They met the first and deputy first ministers to discuss the government's new priorities as well as each of the region's new ministers, who were appointed on Saturday.

The DUP and Sinn Fein remain in the top jobs at Stormont, with Arlene Foster reappointed as First Minister and Michelle O'Neill as Deputy.

All five of the region's main parties united to form the executive under the 'New Decade, New Approach' deal last week after three years of political stalemate.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey has said he was "honoured" to take up the role of Speaker after he was nominated during the first order of business.
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Three deputy speakers were also elected- the DUP's Christopher Stalford, the UUP's Roy Beggs and the SDLP's Patsy McGlone.

A number of other key appointments were made to the new Executive, including former UUP leader Robin Swann as Health Minister.

The North Antrim MLA began the role by announcing plans to meet with health unions this week to settle the dispute for pay parity and safe staffing levels among health workers.

Naomi Long also accepted the role of Minister of Justice with honour and pledged to work to deliver an "ambition programme for justice in NI". The last person to hold the Justice Ministry was Independent Unionist Claire Sugden before devolution collapsed in 2017.

The full list of NI Assembly ministerial appointments is as follows:

• Economy: Diane Dodds (DUP)

• Finance: Conor Murphy (SF)

• Education: Peter Weir (DUP)

• Communities: Deirdre Hargey (SF)

• Agriculture: Edwin Poots (DUP)

• Health: Robin Swann (UUP)

• Justice: Naomi Long (Alliance)

• Infrastructure: Nichola Mallon (SDLP)

• Junior Ministers: Gordon Lyons (DUP), Declan Kearney (SF)



(JG/CM)

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