Robbie Butler appointed as Doug Beattie confirms new UUP leadership team
Incoming Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie has announced that Lagan Valley MLA Robbie Butler is to become his deputy.
There had been speculation earlier this month that former firefighter Mr Butler would run for the leadership following the resignation of Steve Aiken.
Instead, he announced that he would not seek the position, leaving the way clear for Mr Beattie to take up the role.
The ex-soldier, whose appointment will be ratified by the party’s council at a meeting on May 27, has said he wants to set a progressive and unifying agenda.
In one of his first acts as leader, he has appointed Mr Butler as deputy leader.
He has also announced that MLA Andy Allen will become the party’s deputy chief whip.
Mr Beattie said: “I have said that fixing Northern Ireland is a priority for me and to do that I need the right people in the right place.
“To that end I have asked Robbie Butler to become my deputy leader.
“Robbie is someone who has tremendous energy and positivity and works for the good of Northern Ireland. I want to harness that.
“Robbie has been serving the party as chief whip and he will continue in that vital role.
“To assist Robbie in the chief whip’s office, I have asked Andy Allen to become deputy chief whip.
“Andy is someone who knows what it is to serve his country. He is forward-thinking, and someone I trust.”