Alliance leader Naomi Long set for Assembly return

Alliance leader Naomi Long will return to the Stormont Assembly, party sources have indicated.

Ms Long served as an MLA for East Belfast until last May when she stepped aside after winning one of Northern Ireland’s three seats on the European Parliament.

Her term as an MEP is expected to come to an end on January 31 when the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union.

A party source indicated to the PA news agency that Ms Long will not take MLA salary or expenses until her term as an MEP ends.

One of Northern Ireland’s other two MEPs, the Democratic Unionist Party’s Diane Dodds, has been selected to replace former Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart.

Ms Lockhart stood down when she was elected as an MP last month.