Arlene Foster formally leaves Stormont Assembly

The former DUP leader had been an MLA for Fermanagh since 2003.
Arlene Foster formally leaves Stormont Assembly

By Rebecca Black, PA

Northern Ireland’s former First Minister Arlene Foster has formally stepped aside as a member of the Stormont Assembly.

Mrs Foster said she did not intend to remain as an MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in May when she announced her decision to resign as DUP leader following an internal party revolt.

On Thursday, Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland Virginia McVea confirmed that Fermanagh councillor and former party press officer Deborah Erskine had been returned to serve as an MLA to fill the vacancy arising from the resignation of Mrs Foster.

Democratic Unionist Party meet to ratify new leader
Arlene Foster on the evening of Edwin Poots’s ratification as the new DUP leader, though he was only in the job for a matter of weeks (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mrs Foster had served as an MLA since 2003.

Ms Erskine is expected to sign in to Stormont later this week.

Since leaving politics earlier this year, Mrs Foster has been carving out a career in the media, including as a contributor on GB News, and speaking out against abuse on social media.

Her ousting as DUP leader sparked turbulence within the party, and her successor Edwin Poots was forced to resign within weeks before another leadership contest saw Sir Jeffrey Donaldson take the helm.

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