North Antrim MLA, Robin Swann has been appointed the new Health Minister by his party, The Ulster Unionists.
After three years of a no functioning Northern Ireland Executive, yesterday (Saturday) the MLAs came together after the two main party’s accepted a deal to restore power sharing, drafted by the British and Irish governments.
Speaking following his appointment as the new Health Minister, Robin Swann said:
“Delighted to be appointed Minister for Health. Looking forward to getting to know my portfolio and facing the challenges ahead. A priority is meeting with health unions at an early opportunity next week.”
Not resting on his laurels, Mr Swann has wasted no time in setting up that meeting with the unions, today saying:
“I am happy to confirm that contact has been made with trade unions and I will be meeting with them as soon as possible this week.
“I’m looking forward to getting this dispute sorted right away. Obviously, the financial package for the new Executive and support from other Ministerial colleagues will be central to making that happen.
“We need our nurses and other health workers back at work. There’s a massive challenge for all of us in making our health service better and our great staff have a vital role to play in that.”
The former leader of the Ulster Unionist party, joins four other MLAs in Stormont representing the North Antrim area. Mervyn Storey and Paul Frew of the current largest party the DUP, Philip McGuigan of Sinn Fein and Jim Alastair of the TUV.
DUPs Arlene Foster returns as First Minister, with Michelle O’Neil of Sinn Fein taking up the position of Deputy First Minister, the first all Woman coalition in the N.I. Executive.
Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey will serve as Speaker following support from both his party and the DUP.
The following is a full list of the appointments yesterday: