Sinn Féin replaces ministerial team as Stormont appoints new line-up

The Noth's political parties appointed their new power-sharing government today – with Sinn Féin replacing its entire ministerial team.

The Noth's political parties appointed their new power-sharing government today – with Sinn Féin replacing its entire ministerial team.

DUP leader Peter Robinson got first choice of portfolios as leader of the largest party after emerging with 38 seats in the Assembly election.

Mr Robinson confirmed he will return Sammy Wilson to the crucial Department of Finance portfolio.

And while Sinn Féin surprised observers by holding on to the education brief, it confirmed its outgoing minister Caitriona Ruane, who presided over controversial efforts to remove academic selection, would be succeeded by John O’Dowd.

On Friday the parties used Twitter to announce their department choices.

Similarly today, many of the names of new ministers were announced on the social networking site before the start of the Assembly session which officially filled the roles.

The DUP leader selected Edwin Poots as health minister, Nelson McCausland as social development minister, and confirmed Arlene Foster will remain as enterprise minister.

All were ministers in the last Assembly.

First Minister Mr Robinson announced one new face, however, with Jonathan Bell confirmed as his junior minister in the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

The party leader confirmed that in two year’s time he will appoint DUP rising star Simon Hamilton to the crucial role of finance minister, while party veteran Jim Wells will become health minister at that point.

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness confirmed the party’s former ministerial team would be replaced, with three of the roles to be filled by women.

Michelle O’Neill was appointed agriculture minister, her Sinn Féin colleague Caral Ni Chuilin will be the new culture minister, while Martina Anderson will be junior minister in OFMDFM.

The Ulster Unionist Party named Danny Kennedy as minister for regional development. The nationalist SDLP confirmed that Alex Attwood, a minister in the last administration, will hold the environment brief.

The cross-community Alliance Party selected Stephen Farry as the minister for employment and learning.

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