Page last updated at 08:13 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Ritchie confirmed as candidate

Eddie McGrady and Margaret Ritchie
Margaret Ritchie plans to take over from Eddie McGrady as South Down MP

The SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie has been confirmed as the party's Westminster candidate in South Down.

She succeeds the current MP Eddie McGrady who is retiring.

Ms Ritchie was selected unopposed after another SDLP member, the Reverend Gordon Graham, did not make it through the preliminary selection interview.

Ms Ritchie has said she will give her job as Stormont social development minister to a party colleague if she is elected as an MP.

She also said she would only take her MP's salary and would give up her second salary as an MLA.

Mr McGrady, 74, announced he was standing down as MP for South Down last month.

He has represented the constituency at Westminster since 1987.

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