Justice Minister, Claire Sugden MLA has vowed to play a progressive, constructive role within the Northern Ireland Executive.
The Minister was elected on a cross community vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Wednesday.
Minister Sugden said: “It is an honour to have been appointed Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland and I am committed to working with my Executive colleagues to build strong, safer, shared communities.
“The Department of Justice brief is wide and diverse covering a range of areas that impact on the entire community. The evidence is clear – low incomes, educational under-achievement, poor housing, drug addiction and poor mental health and well-being are just some of the contributory factors to crime. I look forward to working in partnership to deliver a joined up approach to tackling some of these important issues.”
Continuing the Minister said: “In the coming days and weeks I plan to start getting out and about to talk to those working across the sector, including those on the frontline. I have no doubt that while I will hear much about the challenges they face on a daily basis I will also hear about how rewarding their job can be. They have the unique opportunity to quite literally ‘make a difference’ to someone’s life and that is something to be very proud of.”
In conclusion the Minister said: “I do not underestimate the challenge ahead. It is however, a challenge I am ready for and looking forward to. I believe David McClarty would have been proud of the decision I have made today. I will continue to deliver for my constituents throughout my term in office and would like to thank them for their support. I will outline my key priorities in the near future.”