It’s not particularly thought to have anything to do with the SDLP selection of a successor (
who’s still waiting in the wings) for Margaret Ritchie. But the official explanation for dropping an MLA whose not thought to have been under particular electoral pressure reads like a transliteration of ‘spending more time with my family’ to ‘community initiatives’.
I was particularly struck with this line in the official press release: “I would also like to thank my Sinn Féin colleagues for their support throughout my term and allowing me the option to choose which arena I would continue my political representation.”[emphasis added]
Hmmm… Curiouser and curiouser….
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty