DUP councillor Peter Martin replaces Alex Easton as North Down MLA

Alex Easton has co-opted DUP councillor Peter Martin to replace him in the Northern Ireland Assembly, following his election as a Member of Parliament last week. Easton left the DUP in 2021, but has said he will not be rejoining.
Peter Martin and DUP leader Gavin Robinson MP. Image: DUP

Councillor Peter Martin has been co-opted to replace Alex Easton in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Easton served as an MLA for North Down, before being elected to Westminster in the general election last week.

He stood as an independent candidate and was independent in the Assembly since he resigned from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in 2021.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Alex Easton MP said he will not be returning to the DUP.

“I most definitely won’t be going back to the DUP. When I left, it was permanently.”

“I will continue to serve the people of North Down as an independent. I won’t be dictated to by any political party. All my decisions as MP will be made by me, and nobody else.”

The change means the DUP now have a total of 26 MLAs, behind Sinn Féin who still have the most at 27.

As well as being a councillor, Mr Martin has been a special adviser to DUP Education Ministers.

“I am delighted to have been nominated to represent North Down within the Northern Ireland Assembly and I thank Alex for his endorsement. I will first and foremost be a voice for North Down and to deliver on the day to day issues they face. I want also to be a positive pro-Union voice within the Assembly chamber and demonstrate the benefits we will receive from being part of our United Kingdom.

There are significant challenges and pressures facing the services that people in Northern Ireland rely on. It is important that people can see action being taken that will make a real difference in their lives and representatives working together to achieve that change. I will seek to ensure that North Down continues to have the level of representation it deserves within the Assembly chamber.”

– Peter Martin MLA

The DUP did not stand a candidate in the general election in North Down and instead endorsed Alex Easton.

“The election in North Down demonstrated what can be achieved when various strands of unionism come together to maximise pro-Union representation. The DUP not only endorsed Alex Easton as a candidate, but representatives, members and supporters played a part in the successful campaign.

Peter is already a hardworking representative in North Down and is someone who won an additional pro-Union seat at the last election. He brings experience and enthusiasm to the Assembly and will ensure that the people of North Down continue to have a champion on the Assembly benches working together with colleagues in the constituency.”

– Gavin Robinson MP, DUP leader

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