Sir Jeffrey said, "Christopher's passing has been felt keenly by everyone within the Party and the kind expressions of sympathy from across the political spectrum have been greatly appreciated.
It was at the Stalford family’s request that Edwin agreed to take on the role of South Belfast MLA.
Edwin is someone with huge political experience and will be an excellent representative for the people of South Belfast, carrying on the work done by Christopher over so many years. I am delighted that he will be representing the Party in this Constituency.
The upcoming election is hugely important for the future of Northern Ireland and the direction in which Northern Ireland will travel over the next few years. It is vital that a strong team of DUP MLAs is returned across every constituency.
Edwin Poots added, "It is a privilege to be selected to take up the Assembly seat within South Belfast. It is a diverse constituency which represents many aspects of Northern Ireland as a whole. I intend to be a positive unionist voice within the constituency, and continue the strong record of DUP representation within the area.
I met with the Stalford family last week to discuss this. Even at this most difficult time their thoughts were on the people of South Belfast also. Christopher was a first-class representative for the area and I will seek to build on his work and be a fearless advocate for the community. I look forward to working with colleagues and the wider community across the constituency in this task."