SDLP Leader announces changes to Front Bench Team

colum eastwood

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has announced the makeup of the Opposition front bench team constituting MPs, MLAs and councillors from across the party.

In the face of the most severe cost of living crisis in a generation, the emergency facing our health service and the economic devastation wrought by an out-of-control government in London, the SDLP front bench team will challenge Ministers and propose bold new ideas for change.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“In every aspect of their lives, government is badly failing people across Northern Ireland. The cost of surviving for working families and vulnerable households is out of control, mortgage rates are up, energy prices are up, the cost of food and fuel is up and all the while, Stormont remains down. It is a political choice to abandon people in a moment of abject need and the SDLP believes that it is unforgivable.

“Today we are announcing a new front bench team that will hold Ministers to account for their failure to take decisive action to support people over the last six months and we will propose bold new policy ideas that will change this place for the better. Our Opposition is about making the North work for all the people who live here and deserve more than the same politics of division and deadlock. And it is also about setting out the case for a different kind of future – a social democratic new Ireland where opportunity and prosperity is shared, where wealth redistribution supports working families and those most in need, where we are no longer held to ransom by people who have been reckless with this place and our future.

“The new SDLP teams have already started their work engaging with community groups, business representatives and senior leaders in health, education and housing. Our mission is to address the real challenges facing people in our communities.”


Spokespeople names and titles:


Colum Eastwood MP, SDLP Leader

A New Ireland


Claire Hanna MP

Europe and International Affairs


Matthew O'Toole MLA, Leader of the Opposition

Cost of Living Crisis


Daniel McCrossan MLA

Social Justice


Sinead McLaughlin MLA

Jobs, the Economy and Justice


Cara Hunter MLA

Children and Young People


Colin McGrath MLA

Health and Wellbeing


Patsy McGlone MLA

Rural Communities


Justin McNulty MLA

Reconciliation and Sport


Mark H Durkan MLA

Climate Change and Infrastructure


Cllr Roisin Lynch

Rural Isolation and loneliness


Cllr Ryan Wilson

Fair Work


Cllr Joe Boyle

Rural transport


Deirdre Vaughan

Fair Childcare


Cllr Thomas O'Hanlon

Cross-border business


Cllr Grainne O'Neill

Mental Health


Cllr Ciaran Toman

Tackling Paramilitarism


Cllr Donal Lyons

Heritage, culture and arts


Cllr Paul McCusker

Housing and homelessness


Paul Doherty

Ending Poverty


Charlotte Carson

Curriculum reform


Cllr Gary McKeown

Climate Emergency and Net Zero


Cllr Carl Whyte

Health Service reform


Cllr Margaret Anne McKillop

Rural opportunities


Cllr Ashleen Schenning

Training and Skills


Cllr Brian Tierney

University expansion


Cllr Adam Gannon

Education reform


Cllr Johnny McCarthy

Justice reform


Cllr Simon Lee

Active Travel


Cllr Malachy Quinn

Regional investment


Cllr Kerri Martin

Community integration


Cllr Gareth Sharvin



Cllr Laura Devlin

Tourism and hospitality


Cllr Pete Byrne

All island rail

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