ALASTAIR Patterson is the new Ulster Unionist MLA for Fermanagh-south Tyrone. He is expected to be co-opted onto the Assembly on Wednesday.

Mr. Patterson will replace Neil Somerville who has quit front-line politics and will join Councillor Rosemary Barton in the Assembly election in May.

After being selected by party members in Enniskillen on Friday night, Mr. Patterson from Castlederg said he was “deeply honoured” to be the new MLA.

“I would firstly like to thank the members of Fermanagh-south Tyrone for coming out in such significant numbers and putting their trust in me, it means a lot to know I have their support.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Tom and Neil who have served the constituency admirably and to Councillor Rosemary Barton who will be my running mate in May,” he said.

Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott said: “Alastair was chosen by the local members on Friday night at a constituency selection meeting. I have known him for many years and believe his abilities and commitment will make him an excellent MLA for the next few months, and I trust in the next Assembly after the May elections.”