McDevitt resignation ‘big loss to SDLP’ (BBC News Northern Ireland)

Conall McDevitt was right to quit politics but he is a significant loss to the SDLP, former party leader Mark Durkan has said.

Mr McDevitt, who was a South Belfast MLA, resigned after it emerged he had failed to declare more than £6,000 earned from a public relations company.

He said he failed in his duty to uphold the standards expected of an MLA.

Mr Durkan said it was a serious mistake, but there was only one option.

“He is a huge talent, he has paid more than his pound of flesh for his transgressions,” said Mr Durkan.

“It was a very high price to pay.”

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly described Mr McDevitt’s resignation as a “sad day for the SDLP”.

Mr McDevitt represented the South Belfast constituency at the Northern Ireland Assembly since January 2010.

He was co-opted to the position, replacing the SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna, and retained the South Belfast seat in the 2011 assembly elections.

It has emerged that money was paid to Mr McDevitt by his former company, Weber Shandwick, so that he could mentor the company team that replaced him after his election as an MLA.

Mr McDevitt said on Wednesday: “That should have been declared and it wasn’t. That’s a serious breach, in my opinion, of the code.

“I have rectified it today, but I entered politics to try to bring about change and positive change, and I feel I have fallen below the standards expected of someone in public life.

“Therefore, I think there’s a duty on me to resign my position in public life in order to protect the integrity of the institution and to acknowledge the error that I have made, for which I am obviously deeply sorry.”

The statement came a day after Mr McDevitt confirmed that his wife, Joanne Murphy, had received £30,000 in public funds in the last two years, carrying out research for him in his role as a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Last month, it was revealed that more than £14,000 from Mr McDevitt’s assembly office cost allowance was paid to researchers through his wife’s firm, JM Consulting.

One comment

  • Riccardo Rinaldi

    Se penso che da noi c’è un tizio, condannato in terzo grado, che non sente la minima necessità di sparire dalla vita pubblica, queste dichiarazioni fanno quasi tenerezza!

    "Mi piace"


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