Derry MLA Mark H Durkan is to become the north’s Environment Minister.
Mr Durkan, who was married on Saturday, replaces outgoing Minister Alex Attwood.
SDLP Leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said the Derry MLA, nephew of the city’s MP Mark Durkan, “represents the emerging generation of the SDLP, a hard-working politician with a firm commitment to social justice.”
“He has done an outstanding job as the party’s social development spokesperson, meticulously working through the welfare reform bill and speaking out against its harshest elements.
“The party look forward to seeing Mark follow on the excellent work of Alex Attwood who as Environment Minister has tackled the bureaucracy in our planning system by pursuing a progressive agenda.”
Dr McDonnell said the outgoing Minister had “been a real asset to the party during his time as Minister.”
“His experience and analysis will be invaluable as we work to tackle the outstanding issues that challenge our society.
“I am confident that Mark will carry on the baton from Alex and make a valuable contribution to his role as Environment Minister and make a robust contribution to discussions around the Executive table,” he said.