Northern Ireland

Naomi Long considered quitting politics, but will run in East Belfast again

Naomi Long
Image caption Naomi Long is to run in East Belfast for Alliance in the forthcoming Assembly election

Naomi Long has said she considered not returning to politics after her general election defeat in East Belfast last May.

The Alliance deputy leader was one of three candidates chosen on Thursday night by the party to fight the seat in the forthcoming Assembly election.

But she admitted that it was only at Christmas that she finally decided to continue in politics.

She told the BBC that after the election she "needed a lot of rest".

"After May I found myself very tired, very exhausted," she added.

"It has been quite a bruising five years and I took the time to really think about it and to find my passion because I didn't want to come back simply because people expected me to.

'Shouting'

"I wanted to come back, because I felt I had something to contribute and that I had something I wanted to do, that I felt could make a difference.

"I'm absolutely convinced after reflecting on that that there is still work to be done, that there is still a role for the Alliance party...and that I still want to be part of that.

"I'm not somebody who could simply go off and have a nice life for myself because I would find myself shouting at the television and frustrated at politics because I'm passionate about it."

Mrs Long's running mates in East Belfast will be the sitting MLA Chris Lyttle and Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor Tim Morrow.

She said that after polling more than 16,000 votes last May, the party believed it could win three Assembly seats.

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