Double-jobbing concerns blown out of proportion, says new MLA

Gordon Lyons will be replacing Sammy Wilson as DUP MLA for East Antrim
Gordon Lyons will be replacing Sammy Wilson as DUP MLA for East Antrim

After the resignation of Sammy Wilson, Gregory Campbell is the last remaining MLA to sit in both Westminster and the Assembly – a practice known as ‘double-jobbing’.

A DUP spokesperson said Mr Campbell has not yet indicated when he will stand down.

In May 2009, only two of the Province’s 18 MPs were not also members of the Assembly.

The next time the Assembly is dissolved, which, barring an early election, should be in March 2016, legislation will bring a definitive end to double-jobbing.

DUP councillor Gordon Lyons will be replacing Mr Wilson as the MLA for East Antrim and he told the News Letter that concerns over double-jobbing are taken out of proportion.

“At the end of the day people elected Sammy to the Assembly and to Westminster,” he said.

“I don’t think that the public are really as concerned about double-jobbing as it is sometimes made out to be.”

Mr Lyons, who studied politics and history at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, will – at the age of 29 – be one of the Assembly’s youngest MLAs.

“I still have youth on my side and I hope to bring enthusiasm to the role as well,” he added.

The former Coast Road councillor worked for the DUP in the East Antrim constituency office until 2012 and was then employed in the party’s main policy unit.

Mr Lyons said he was particularly interested in working on three issues during his time at the Assembly, with a particular focus on jobs and the economy.

In addition to addressing educational underachievement, Mr Lyons said tourism is important for the people of the East Antrim constituency.

“It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

“We have great tourism potential but we haven’t exploited that to the full as of yet.”