Stormont’s newest MLA, Gary Middleton, has formally announced that he is to contest the seat for Westminster.
It was only last week that Middleton confirmed he had been co-opted into Stormont, taking up the post of Foyle MLA in place of Party colleague Maurice Devenney who stepped down in favour of serving as a councillor in the new Derry City and Strabane District Council.
The move means that Middleton will contest the seat for Westminster on May 7, standing against the UUP candidate Julia Kee, SDLP man Mark Durkan and Sinn Fein’s Gearóid Ó hEára.
Reflecting on the major changes in his career over the past fortnight, Mr Middleton said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I am really looking forward to fighting the up-coming Westminster election,” he said.
“My DUP colleagues and I are looking forward to getting out on the ground and speaking to people in the constituency, as well as preparing for the Westminster election. Personally, I am also looking forward to the challenge of taking up the position as the new MLA for Foyle and I would like to pay tribute to Maurice for his service to the Assembly. Maurice will now focus on the new Londonderry and Strabane Council and I know he will play a valuable role within the new organisation,” said Mr Middleton.
Mr Middleton also paid tribute to Lord Hay, wishing him well in the House of Lords.
Meanwhile Mr Middleton will go to Stormont on April 13 to begin the job of representing the views of the people of the north west at regional level.