The SDLP has welcomed Castlereagh South Councillor Simon Lee as a new member of the party.
Cllr Lee, who has worked constructively with SDLP MP Claire Hanna and fellow Councillor John Gallen, joined the party based on its vision for economic justice, social justice and a new Ireland.
Welcoming Cllr Lee to the party, Claire Hanna MP said:
“I’m absolutely chuffed to welcome Simon to the SDLP team in South Belfast. Since he was first elected in 2019, he has worked well with our team and particularly with Cllr John Gallen on local issues of mutual concern as well as sharing our values and vision on important issues like Brexit, resourcing public services and addressing the climate crisis.
“Simon is a first class public representative, an incredibly hard worker and a really lovely guy. We’re very lucky to have him on our team and I’m looking forward to working with him to improve the lives of people in Castlereagh South.”
SDLP Cllr Simon Lee said:
“Joining the SDLP has been a big decision for me but already I’ve been made to feel welcomed, wanted and valued in the party.
“I’ve been impressed by the leadership of people like Colum Eastwood, Claire Hanna and Matthew O’Toole for a long time now and I’ve worked really well with my friend and colleague Cllr John Gallen in Castlereagh South since 2019. In many ways, this feels like the perfect fit.
“I’ve always considered myself a social democrat and been motivated by using the power of government to level the playing field for working people and those in need of the most support. My values align with the vision and values of the SDLP - enhancing public services so that everyone can access health treatment, creating good quality jobs to lift people out of poverty, giving everyone the opportunity to express their culture in a positive way and live fulfilling lives.
“Over the last number of years I’ve also been more attracted to the party’s work on building a new Ireland. Brexit has changed everything for me and for many people I know who wouldn’t come from a traditional pro-unity background. The SDLP has the most legitimacy when it comes to working with all of our communities on this project, working together to build a consensus on what a new future could look like, how it could change our lives for the better and, most importantly, how everyone can feel welcomed in it.
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with my colleagues to build a better future for all the people we represent.”