Arlene Foster’s special adviser steps down after less than three months in role

A Dungannon councillor has resigned from her role as special adviser to Northern Ireland’s First Minister.
Kim Ashton.Kim Ashton.
Kim Ashton.

In February it was confirmed that Kim Ashton was to take up a publicly-funded role in the Executive Office as an adviser to her DUP party colleague and First Minister, Arlene Foster, MLA.

At the time it was revealed her salary could have been up to £54,999.

However, a statement released on Monday evening confirmed that the Dungannon councillor left the role on May 4.

“It was a great privilege to serve as an adviser to Northern Ireland’s First Minister,” said Councillor Ashton.

“I stepped down last month to take up a role in the private sector and I will continue to serve the people of Dungannon as a DUP councillor.”

Thanking her for her time in the role, the First Minister described Ms Ashton as an “excellent special adviser”.

“Kim was an excellent special adviser and I give her my best wishes in her new role,” said Arlene Foster.

by Adam Morton, Local Democracy Reporter


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.