DUP put forward four for election

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The DUP is putting forward four candidates in Lagan Valley to contest the Assembly election in May.

The four candidates, who are all currently MLAs for the constituency, are Jonathan Craig, Paul Givan, Brenda Hale and Edwin Poots.

Mrs Hale, whose husband Captain Mark Hale was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009, first ran for election in 2011.

As well as representing the people of Lagan Valley, Mrs Hale is currently a member of the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and the Regional Development Committee. She also represents the Party of the Assembly All Party Group on Cancer and the Assembly All Party Group on Human Trafficking. Mrs Hale is also a Political Member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

“ It has been an honour to work for the people of Lagan Valley for the last four years, and to have been able to support and encourage people and community projects,” said Mrs Hale.

“If I am privileged enough to be reelected I will continue to work diligently and consciencely for the people of Lagan Valley.Speaking after being ratified by the DUP Party Executive Mr Paul Givan said: “It is a privilege to serve the people of Lagan Valley and over the past five years as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly I have dedicated myself to representing the local community.

“It is now over ten years when I first started public life as a Lisburn Councillor in 2005 and more recently in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2010 when I replaced our Member of Parliament Jeffrey Donaldson.

“My desire to fight for the most vulnerable in our society and improve our community remains as strong as ever. Seeking more investment into the local economy, roads infrastructure, schools and the Lagan Valley Hospital will continue to be a priority for me.

“I look forward to the campaign ahead and presenting a positive vision of hope for our country and our community.”

Jonathan Craig will be running for his third term in the Assembly. “I will make a firm commitment to continue to work on behalf of the constituents of Lagan Valley, I firmly believe in delivering for the people of Lagan Valley, having delivered in this term an £11 million new social housing build for the community of Seymour Hill.”

Mr Craig served on the Education Committee at Stormont and sits on the Policing Board as Party spokesman. “

“I am committed to working for constituents delivering not only a constituency office in Lisburn but also carrying out on a monthly basses four constituency outreach surgeries, plus I have visited approximately 6000 homes personally,” added Mr Craig. “Hard work and delivery are what I and my Party bring to Lagan Valley.”

Edwin Poots, who has served as Arts and Culture Minister, Environment Minister, and Health Minister during his time in Stormont has represented Lagan Valley since powers were devolved back to Stormont.

He described the health portfolio as the most challenging position in government. Nonetheless much was still achieved, including securfing £40m to develop advanced primary care clinics at the Lagan Valley Hospital.

Mr Poots currently sits in the Justice, Public Accounts and Agriculture committees at Stormont.