Harvey replaces Hamilton as Rowallane Assemblyman

Harvey replaces Hamilton as Rowallane Assemblyman

11 September 2019

ROWALLANE councillor Harry Harvey has been chosen to replace Strangford DUP Assemblyman Simon Hamilton.

The news was confirmed at the weekend by party leader, Arlene Foster, with Mr Harvey delighted that he has been selected to takeover from Mr Hamilton who recently resigned to take up a new role as Belfast’s Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

In May, Cllr Harvey retained his seat on Newry, Mourne and Down Council but he will now have to step down from the local authority with the DUP beginning the process of finding his replacement who will be co-opted.

A delighted Mr Harvey said he is “very proud and humbled” to have been chosen by his party to replace Mr Hamilton and follow in the footsteps of his late father Cecil who was a former Assemblyman and member of Down Council.

“I am a little bit surprised but absolutely delighted that I have been chosen by the party to replace Simon,” said Mr Harvey.

The DUP is delighted that it now has an MLA in the Rowallane area, the majority of which is located in the Strangford constituency.

Mr Harvey says he is looking forward to working with his party colleagues Michelle McIlveen and Peter Weir in Strangford and the area’s MP Jim Shannon.

A native of Crossgar, Mr Harvey is married with two children and worked at the family-run Bells Motor Works in the body repair end of the business for 20 years before leaving the business to concentrate on politics.

“I am truly honoured to be selected to serve Strangford as an Assembly member,” he said.

“Through my time in local government I know the importance of constituency representation and I will dedicate myself to continuing that role.”

Mr Harvey admitted that it is very frustrating however that the Assembly and Executive are not functioning at present, but is committed to working with his colleagues to “ensure a fair and balanced agreement can be reached which can be supported by everyone.”

He added: “I did run for a DUP Assembly seat in Strangford in 2011 and while not successful on that occasion I am now delighted to represent the constituency. As a Rowallane councillor I have a good grasp of the issues in the area and am looking forward to getting started.”

Congratulating Mr Harvey on his appointment, the DUP leader said she was delighted to welcome him to the party’s Assembly team.

“Harry has served the people of the Rowallane area as a councillor since 2014 and I know he will continue to be a dedicated representative for all of the Strangford constituency as an Assembly member,” Mrs Foster said.

“Harry enters the Assembly at a time when our focus is on restoring devolution and ensuring that Assembly Members can get back to doing the full job we should be doing.”

The DUP leader added: “The public have been punished for nearly three years through Sinn Fein’s boycott of devolution and we need to see decision making returned for Northern Ireland.”