Margaret Ritchie elected as new SDLP leader

It’s just been announced that Margaret Ritchie has been elected the new SDLP leader at the party’s annual conference in Newcastle, County Down.

  • IanR

    I don’t think that anyone’s blogged about the SDLP’s curious decision this week to switch their nominee for Justice Minister from Margaret Ritchie – announced less than two months ago – to Alban Maginness – their long-standing spokesperson on Justice matters, a qualified barrister and widely tipped as the SDLP’s preferred choice until last December.

    (Okay, he did stand for MEP last year, which would have meant forfeiting his membership of the Assembly had he been elected, but there was never much prospect of that paying off.)

    So what was Ritchie’s short-term hokey-cokey dalliance with the Justice post about, other than a blatant (and as it turns out successful) attempt by the SDLP’s previous leadership to influence the selection process for the new leader??

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I still think Alban will end up a High Court judge or even the first Catholic Chief justice.
    Essentially alban who I much admire is standing aside from the coalface side of Politics.
    Doing all that artsy/paintings Arts Council stuff that he loves.
    As to Justice Ministry….it is just going thru the Motions making the point SDLP not getting the ministry to which d’hondt entitles them and those fearless hypocrites in AP are picking it up.
    First off in sheer experience of law, Magennis is a better candidate.
    Second Ritchie isnt qualified.
    Thirdly wih only 15 other MLAs (of mixed ability and profile)behind her Ritchie would be foolish not to have them all working hard at what they do best.

  • IanR

    So you agree that the reason for putting her forward was to increase her profile in the run-up to the leadership election, rather than her being best suited to that particular post?

    I thought the era of SDLP coronations was supposed to have ended?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    IanR,
    Thats only partly true.
    Had she lost the leadership, she would be a MLA and Minister in Executive….2 duties.
    as she won the leadership she is a MLA , a Minister and Ldr of the party (with a committment to massive re-organisation (3 duties).

    And magennis a more logical choice.

  • IanR

    But she already is a Minister, for Social Development. Taking on Justice wouldn’t have involved an extra role whether she won the leadership or not?

  • IanR

    If she’s saying she no longer has time to be Justice Minister now that she is party leader, then surely the same logic applies to the Social Development portfolio and she should stand aside from that role?

    (I presume the party hierarchy had someone in mind to replace her at DSD as and when she obtained Justice post??)

  • Dunumian

    she is just plain greedy
    when she was a part time councillor she took the whack
    8hours work £10, 000 for 12 months she got more per hour than the British Prime Minister
    she is citing that other party leaders who are Ministers can carry on in their roles its just a get out clause for Maggie
    roll on the next ELECTION people arent thickos what the sdlp stands for is
    S- SELFISH
    D- DISOWN PRINCIPLES
    L- LIES
    P- Perjure on Principles