Northern Ireland

PJ Bradley to step down as SDLP assembly member

Veteran SDLP assembly member PJ Bradley is to step down at the next election, the party has announced.

The 70-year-old was first elected as a South Down MLA in 1998, and served as a councillor from 1981 to 2005.

The party has picked Eamonn O'Neill, Karen McKevitt and SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie as its candidates in the next assembly election, to be held on 5 May.

Ms Ritchie said Mr Bradley had been "a first-class constituency representative for almost three decades".

She added: "His ability to attract votes was matched only by his ability to care and connect with his local community and his fierce pride in his County Down roots."

Ms Ritchie said his role as agriculture spokesman "ensured that a rural voice was heard at the heart of SDLP decision-making".

"I know PJ will remain active in the SDLP, but I wish him all the best as he steps down from frontline politics," she said.

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