Cara Hunter is new East Derry SDLP MLA following sad passing of John Dallat

Cara Hunter, the new SDLP MLA for East Derry. Picture by George Sweeney. DER1719GS-114Cara Hunter, the new SDLP MLA for East Derry. Picture by George Sweeney. DER1719GS-114
Cara Hunter, the new SDLP MLA for East Derry. Picture by George Sweeney. DER1719GS-114 | JPIMedia Resell
The SDLP has selected Cara Hunter as an MLA for East Derry following the sad passing of John Dallat earlier this month.

Cara Hunter, who is currently the Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council and the SDLP’s Mental Health spokesperson, said that it is an “immense honour” to follow in the footsteps of John Dallat.

Cara Hunter said: “It is an incredible honour to be selected to represent the people of East Derry and to follow in the footsteps of someone like John Dallat.

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“John dedicated his life to public service and I know just how much he loved representing people here. I hope that I can continue that tradition of being a champion for everyone in East Derry.”

Speaking about the current challenges, she continued: “This is an incredibly difficult time for people, businesses and communities here. The impact of the coronavirus has been immense, it has caused pain for us all and it has underscored how little the things that divide us actually matter. This virus doesn’t see a difference between people in Coleraine or Kilrea, and neither should we. We all have to unite and come together as one community to keep each other safe.

“I am passionate about the power of politics to change people’s lives. Whether it’s changing how we talk about and deliver mental health services, or how we fight the climate crisis in a way that supports jobs and creates a healthier society. And, of course, how we stimulate new investment in skills and jobs for people in East Derry to provide everyone with the opportunity to succeed.

“It is an immense honour to represent people in East Derry. I won’t let them down.”

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SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said: “I’m delighted that Cara Hunter will be the new MLA for East Derry, building on the lifetime of dedicated service John Dallat gave to people here.

“Cara is a part of the new generation of SDLP activists stepping up to make a difference in their communities and we’re excited to see the change she can help inspire as a member of the Assembly.”

Cara Hunter was the SDLP Westminster Candidate for East Derry in December 2019 securing 6,158 votes (the highest SDLP total since 2001) and finishing second (the highest SDLP finishing position since 1992).

Cara Hunter was elected to Derry and Strabane District Council in 2019 and has served as Deputy Mayor for the last year.