The Northern Ireland Assembly has today re-elected Mr William Hay MLA as Speaker.
Mr Hay’s political career began with his election as a DUP representative to Derry City Council in 1981, in which he has served continuously since, and of which he was Deputy Mayor in 1992 and Mayor in 1993. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly upon its establishment in 1998, representing the Foyle constituency, and has been returned to the Assembly at each election since then.
Mr Hay was the Speaker during the previous 2007 Mandate and was the first Speaker to be elected directly by MLAs, the previous two Speakers appointed by Secretaries of State.
He has served on a range of bodies in the statutory and voluntary sector, including the Western Education & Library Board, the Northern Ireland Housing Council, the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commission, and the Policing Board.
Three Deputy Speakers, Mr Francie Malloy MLA, Mr John Dallat MLA and Mr Roy Beggs MLA, who will support the work of the Speaker, were also elected. Mr Malloy and Mr Dallat were elected Deputy Speakers in the previous 2007 Mandate.
In addition, Mr Peter Robinson MLA was appointed to the position of First Minister with Mr Martin McGuinness MP MLA appointed as Deputy First Minister.