Michael McGimpsey

Last updated

Michael McGimpsey
Michael McGimpsey UUP.png
Michael McGimpsey at a 2011 rally for the murdered police officer Ronan Kerr
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
In office
8 May 2007 16 May 2011
First Minister Peter Robinson
Preceded byOffice suspended
Last incumbent: Bairbre de Brún
Succeeded by Edwin Poots
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast, South
In office
25 June 1998 7 May 2016
Preceded by New Creation
Succeeded by Christopher Stalford
Personal details
Born (1948-06-01) 1 June 1948 (age 71)
Donaghadee, Northern Ireland
NationalityBritish
Political party Ulster Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Maureen McGimpsey
Children2
Residence Newtownards
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
ProfessionBusinessman

Michael McGimpsey (born 1 July 1948) is a former MLA who represented the people of South Belfast at Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Executive for twenty three years.

Contents

McGimpsey was born in Donaghadee, County Down and was educated in Regent House Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin. [1] He is a businessman aside from politics involved in property development, [2] hotels and the hospitality sector. In the mid-1980s he came to prominence alongside his brother Christopher when they challenged the Anglo-Irish Agreement by bringing a suit against the Irish government in the High Court of the Republic of Ireland, arguing that the Agreement was invalid because it contradicted Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland [3] (this argument was unusual coming from Unionists because of the traditional Unionist opposition to these two articles.) The case failed in the High Court, and again on appeal to the Supreme Court.

Donaghadee town in County Down, Northern Ireland

Donaghadee is a small town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies on the northeast coast of the Ards Peninsula, about 18 miles (29 km) east of Belfast and about six miles (10 km) south east of Bangor. It is in the civil parish of Donaghadee and the historic barony of Ards Lower. It had a population of 6,869 people in the 2011 Census.

County Down Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

County Down is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, in the northeast of the island of Ireland. It covers an area of 2,448 km2 and has a population of 531,665. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland and is within the province of Ulster. It borders County Antrim to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth across Carlingford Lough to the southwest.

The Anglo-Irish Agreement was a 1985 treaty between the United Kingdom and Ireland which aimed to help bring an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The treaty gave the Irish government an advisory role in Northern Ireland's government while confirming that there would be no change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland unless a majority of its people agreed to join the Republic. It also set out conditions for the establishment of a devolved consensus government in the region.

McGimpsey's UUP office is located on Sandy Row in south Belfast.

Sandy Row

Sandy Row is a street in south Belfast, Northern Ireland. It lends its name to the surrounding residential community, which is predominantly Protestant working-class. The Sandy Row area had a population of 2,153 in 2001. It is a staunchly loyalist area of Belfast, being a traditional heartland for affiliation with the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Orange Order.

Early political career

In 1993 he was first elected to Belfast City Council. [4] For the 1996 Northern Ireland Forum election McGimpsey was third on the UUP list. [5] As a result, he was not involved in the negotiations for the Belfast Agreement. In 1998 McGimpsey was the first member to be elected for South Belfast on the 5th count. [6] to the Northern Ireland Assembly. He was appointed to serve as Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the Northern Ireland Executive from 1999 until the collapse of the Executive in 2002. [7] One of his achievements was the digitising of the Ulster Covenant by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

Belfast City Council local government body for the city in Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council is the local authority with responsibility for part of the city of Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. The Council serves an estimated population of 333,871 (2011), the largest of any district council in Northern Ireland, while also being the fourth smallest by area. Belfast City Council is the primary council of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, a grouping of six district councils with commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, containing a total population of 579,276.

Northern Ireland Forum Provisional forum for the N. Ireland peace process

The Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue was a body set up in 1996 as part of a process of negotiations that eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Belfast South (Assembly constituency) NI Assembly Constituency

Belfast South is a constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Westminster elections

2001

In the run-up to the 2001 UK general election McGimpsey challenged sitting MP Martin Smyth for the Ulster Unionist nomination for Belfast South and gained 43% of the valid poll. In light of anti-agreement Smyth's selection the then anti-agreement Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) did not stand a candidate, but the pro-agreement Progressive Unionist Party was prompted to put one up. McGimpsey, however endorsed Smyth. [8]

2001 United Kingdom general election Election of members to the House of Commons in 2001

The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election, a net loss of 5 seats, though with a significantly lower turnout than before—59.4%, compared to 71.3% at the previous election. Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a consecutive full term in office. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media.

Reverend William Martin Smyth is a Northern Irish unionist politician, and was Ulster Unionist Party Member of Parliament for Belfast South from 1982 to 2005. He was a Vice-President of the Conservative Monday Club.

Democratic Unionist Party Political unionist party of Northern Ireland

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland favoring British identity. It was founded in 1971 during the Troubles by Ian Paisley, who led the party for the next 37 years. Now led by Arlene Foster, it is equal with Sinn Féin in having the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and it is the sixth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Following the 2017 general election, the party agreed to support a Conservative minority government on a case-by-case basis on matters of mutual concern.

2005

In 2005 the sitting UUP MP Martin Smyth retired and McGimpsey was selected as the official UUP candidate for the south Belfast constituency in the 2005 general election following a close selection campaign against an unknown figure, Christopher Montgomery. [9] [10] The Democratic Unionist Party, for the first time in over twenty years, stood a candidate in the form of former policeman Jimmy Spratt. In the battle between the two Unionist parties, both Smyth and former Ulster Unionist leader James Molyneaux appeared in a photograph with Jimmy Spratt which was included in his election literature. While Smyth subsequently claimed that this was "just a photo" that did not constitute an endorsement, "two Ulster Unionists had let it be known in the most public fashion that they preferred an unknown DUP candidate to the man selected by their own party". [11] When the results were declared the poll was split three ways, with Social Democratic and Labour Party politician and part-time GP, Alasdair McDonnell winning the seat. Such an eventuality had been anticipated before the election in discussions between the UUP and DUP about an election pact involving Fermanagh and South Tyrone and Belfast South amongst other constituencies. [12] David Burnside is known to have favoured the pact benefiting Tom Elliott, as he felt that Elliott could unite Unionists in Fermanagh and South Tyrone more readily than McGimpsey could in South Belfast. [13]

Belfast South (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Belfast South is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. It has been represented since 2017 by Emma Little-Pengelly of the Democratic Unionist Party.

2005 United Kingdom general election election of members to the House of Commons in 2005

The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader beside Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority now stood at 66 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had previously held. As of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Labour Party.

Social Democratic and Labour Party Political party in Northern Ireland

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) is a social-democratic, Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. The SDLP currently has 12 MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly. It has no elected representatives in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom having lost its three remaining Parliamentary seats in the 2017 general election.

2010

In December 2009, McGimpsey ruled himself out from standing in South Belfast in the 2010 General Election, saying that he felt he would best serve his constituents by continuing to work as Minister for Health. [14]

2007 Assembly election

In the Assembly election of March 2007 McGimpsey retained his seat but the UUP's vote in South Belfast fell from 27.0% in 2003 to 18.4% of the popular vote in 2007, [15] which resulted in the party losing its second seat, originally held by Esmond Birnie, which was picked up by Anna Lo of the Alliance Party

Ulster Unionist Party

McGimpsey was politically close to David Trimble and at once talked of as a future leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, however he has never been a potential or actual challenger to a UUP leadership election. Politically McGimpsey is seen as being on the left of the Ulster Unionists and is a member of the Unionist Labour Group.

Related Research Articles

Ulster Unionist Party Political party in Northern Ireland

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. Having gathered support in Northern Ireland during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the party governed Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972. It was supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles, during which time it was often referred to as the Official Unionist Party (OUP). Between 1905 and 1972 its MPs took the Conservative whip at Westminster, considered as part of the Conservative Party.

James Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead British politician

James Henry Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead, KBE, PC, often known as Jim Molyneaux, was a Northern Irish unionist politician, and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1979 to 1995. He was a leading member and sometime Vice-President of the Conservative Monday Club. An Orangeman, he was also Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution from 1971 to 1995.

Sylvia Hermon British politician

Sylvia Eileen, Lady Hermon is a Northern Irish politician. Since 2001, she has been the Member of Parliament for the constituency of North Down; she was first elected for the Ulster Unionist Party but has sat as an Independent unionist since 2010. She is the widow of Sir Jack Hermon, who served as Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Jim Allister Politician

James Hugh Allister,, is an Ulster unionist politician and barrister from Northern Ireland. He is the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) political party, since 2011 serving as the party's MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly, representing North Antrim.

The Unionist Party of Northern Ireland was a political party founded by Brian Faulkner in September 1974.

South Antrim (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

South Antrim is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons represented since 2017 by Paul Girvan of the Democratic Unionist Party.

North Down (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

North Down is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is Sylvia Hermon, first elected in the 2001 general election. Hermon represented the constituency on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party until 2010, subsequently sitting as an Independent.

Peter Weir (politician) Northern Irish politician

Peter Weir MLA is a Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party politician. On 25 May 2016, Weir became the first non-Sinn Féin legislator to head the province's Department of Education since the department came into existence on 2 December 1999.

Reg Empey Northern Ireland politician

Reginald Norman Morgan Empey, Baron Empey, best known as Reg Empey, is a British politician who was the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 2005 to 2010, and has been its chairman since 2012. Empey was also twice Lord Mayor of Belfast and was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for East Belfast from 1998 to 2011.

Alan McFarland Northern Irish politician

Major Robert Alan McFarland was an Independent Unionist politician and MLA for North Down in Northern Ireland. He lost his Assembly seat in the 2011 election.

2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election

The 2007 election to the Northern Ireland Assembly was held on Wednesday, 7 March 2007. It was the third election to take place since the devolved assembly was established in 1998. The election saw endorsement of the St Andrews Agreement and the two largest parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin, along with the Alliance Party, increase their support, with falls in support for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

The Belfast South by-election was held on 4 March 1982 following the death of Robert Bradford, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament for Belfast South.

Northern Ireland Conservatives branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Conservatives is a section of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party that operates in Northern Ireland. The party won 0.4% of the vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2016, and 0.3% of the vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2017.

Frank Millar is a Northern Irish journalist and former unionist politician.

2010 Ulster Unionist Party leadership election

An election for the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) was held on 22 September 2010.

2010 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

The 2010 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland occurred on 6 May 2010 and all 18 seats in Northern Ireland were contested. The election saw Sinn Féin win the most votes at a Westminster election for the first time and saw the Democratic Unionist Party win the most seats. The Ulster Unionist Party fought the election as allies of the UK Conservative Party, under the banner of Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force. The UUP failed to win any seats for the first time in over 100 years.

2005 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

The 2005 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 5 May 2005 and all 18 seats in Northern Ireland were contested. The election resulted in the Ulster Unionist Party losing its place as the largest Northern Irish political party at Westminster, being replaced by the Democratic Unionist Party. Both the DUP and Sinn Féin increased their share of the vote as well as their number of seats. The Social Democratic and Labour Party were unable to regain its formerly held status as the largest nationalist political party in Northern Ireland, though they retained 3 seats overall, albeit with a reduced share of the vote.

2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

The 2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 7 May 2015 and all 18 seats were contested.

References

  1. "Biography: Michael McGimpsey". Northern Ireland Assembly. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  2. "Register of Members Interests: McGIMPSEY, Michael". Northern Ireland Assembly. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  3. "Constitutional background to and aspects of the Good Friday Agreement". BBC NI. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  4. "Belfast City Council Elections 1993–2005". ARK. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  5. "1996 Forum Elections: Candidates in South Belfast". ARK. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  6. "South Belfast: Details of each count in 1998 election". ARK. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  7. "Who's on the Executive?". ARK. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  8. "Smyth wins UUP selection battle". BBC News. 16 February 2001. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  9. http://www.u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=57200 UTV Archived 1 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Kerr, Michael, 'David Trimble and the 2005 General election', Dublin (2005) pg 59 referred to in error as Colin Montgomery.
  11. Kerr, Michael, 'David Trimble and the 2005 General election', Dublin (2005) pg 58
  12. Gordon, Gareth (1 April 2005). "Unionists discuss election pact". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  13. Kerr, Michael, 'David Trimble and the 2005 General election', Dublin (2005) pg 60
  14. "McGimpsey not standing in Belfast". BBC News. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  15. "South Belfast". ARK. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Belfast, South
1998–2016
Succeeded by
Christopher Stalford
Political offices
New office Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure
1999–2000
Vacant
Office suspended
Title next held by
self
Vacant
Office suspended
Title last held by
self
Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure
2000–2002
Vacant
Office suspended
Title next held by
Edwin Poots
Vacant
Office suspended
Title last held by
Bairbre de Brún
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Edwin Poots