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Martina Anderson. Nick Ansell via PA
stepping down

Martina Anderson confirms she will not contest next Assembly election

It is believed she was asked to step down following a strategic election meeting.

LAST UPDATE | 4 May 2021

SINN FÉIN MLA Martina Anderson has announced she will not be running for reelection to Stormont.

Alongside a  Twitter video uploaded this evening, the Derry MLA wrote: “Confirmation that I do not intend to stand at the next Assembly Election.There is a privilege in being a public representative standing up for people. I will miss not doing that.”

Her fellow Derry MLA Karen Mullan has also announced she will not be contesting the next election. 

Both MLAs were told by Derry Sinn Féin to “consider their positions”, according to a report in the Irish Examiner last week. 

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion lost the Foyle Westminster seat to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2019 by over 17,000 votes, and in the same year the party lost its majority on Derry City Council to the SDLP.

A subsequent party review resulted in an “implementation plan” which last week saw the local party leadership in Derry asked to step aside.

Senior Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy referred to a “sensible” response in a “specific geographic area with poor election results” which contrast with better results across Ireland.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald thanked the MLAs for their work in the party.

McDonald said she wanted to thank “Martina and Karen for their tireless dedication to Sinn Féin and to the people of Derry, and to welcome their commitment to help in the work of rebuilding the party in the city”.

“We owe a special thanks to their families who have supported them in their work as public representatives,” she said.

“As a long-time member of our national leadership, Martina has always led from the front, as an activist, a Minister, an MEP and MLA. She will continue to lead as the prospect of a referendum on Irish Unity comes ever closer.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Boland

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