SF to take education as North’s ministerial portfolios assigned

SINN Féin will take the education portfolio in the next Northern Ireland Executive.

The DUP will retain the Departments of Finance and Personnel and the UUP has opted for Regional Development.

The ministerial seats are allocated using the d’Hondt procedure based on the number of Assembly seats won. The announcements were made on Twitter.

Former Sinn Féin education minister Caitriona Ruane scrapped the 11-plus during the last mandate but the matter has been controversial, with schools setting independent tests and the DUP opposed to the change.

Regional Development will be the UUP’s only position after it lost a bid to woo former MLA David McClarty back into the party.

Former UUP health minister Michael McGimpsey was at loggerheads with his Executive colleagues during the last mandate over his budget and faced a row over cancer services at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Sinn Féin will again hold the Agriculture Department. The SDLP will take the Environment Department as its only choice. Last term it was in charge of Social Development.

The DUP will be in charge of Social Development.

Sinn Féin has taken the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff had been deeply critical of former DUP minister Nelson McCausland’s handling of the department.

Passing an Irish Language Act is a high priority for Sinn Féin.

The DUP has taken the Department of Health and the Alliance Party the Department of Employment and Learning.

Alliance is expected to take the Justice Department next week under separate arrangements agreed at the time of devolution of policing and justice powers.

On Thursday, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness pledged to re-double their efforts to create a better and shared future in the North.

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