Alliance councillor co-opted to replace Sorcha Eastwood in Assembly

Michelle Guy, centre with Lesley Hogg, Clerk of the Assembly and Speaker Edwin Poots.

An Alliance Party councillor has been co-opted to serve as an MLA in Lagan Valley after the election of Sorcha Eastwood as an MP.

Castlereagh councillor Michelle Guy will take the Assembly seat after Ms Eastwood triumphed at last week’s General Election to win the Westminster seat previously held by the DUP’s former leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

On Wednesday the Electoral Office said Ms Guy had been returned to serve as an MLA for Lagan Valley.

The Alliance Party said Ms Guy, 45, will resign from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council before taking up the position as MLA, following her selection by local Alliance association members.

In a statement, Ms Guy said she was delighted to be selected to serve as an MLA in the constituency where she lives.

“I look forward to getting straight down to work. Sorcha Eastwood leaves huge shoes to fill with her history-making election but I will continue to work closely with her as the new MP, as well as my constituency colleague David Honeyford MLA,” she said.

“I look forward to building on their work and mine as councillor to serve the people of Lagan Valley on the issues that matter to them.”

Alliance leader Naomi Long described Ms Guy as a “dedicated and passionate Alliance elected representative for many years”.

Alliance leader Naomi Long Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

“Alongside David and Sorcha, as well as our local councillors, Michelle will be a key part of our growing Lagan Valley team, who aim to deliver the Alliance vision of a fairer and better community for everyone across the entire community,” she added.

A number of co-options are set to be announced in other constituencies after the General Election.

They include replacements for independent Alex Easton in North Down after his election as MP, the UUP’s Robin Swann in North Antrim after his election as MP in South Antrim, and TUV leader Jim Allister in North Antrim after his election as MP.

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