A 51-year-old former journalist was tonight selected to fill the vacant SDLP Assembly seat for the South Belfast constituency.

Co Fermanagh-born Fearghal McKinney replaces Conal McDevitt, who vacated the seat after it emerged that he had failed to declare £6,000 earned from a public relations firm shortly after he became an Assembly member.

The new MLA unsuccessfully stood for the SDLP in the last Westminister elections.

Before that he worked as a presenter with UTV.

In tonight's selection contest, Mr McKinney defeated Belfast City Council member Claire Hanna by 113 votes to 69.