Steven Agnew

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Steven Agnew

MLA
Steven Agnew MLA 2016.png
Agnew speaking in the Northern Ireland Assembly, January 2016
Leader of the Green Party
in Northern Ireland
In office
10 January 2011 21 November 2018
Deputy Clare Bailey
Tanya Jones
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded by Clare Bailey
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for North Down
In office
6 May 2011 24 September 2019
Preceded by Brian Wilson
Succeeded by Rachel Woods [1]
Personal details
Born (1979-10-12) 12 October 1979 (age 41)
Dundonald, Northern Ireland
Political party Green Party
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
OccupationActivist, politician

Steven Agnew (born 12 October 1979) is a Northern Irish politician who served as the leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland between 2011 and 2018. He was elected as an MLA to the Northern Ireland Assembly in May 2011.

Contents

Early life

Agnew was born in Dundonald and studied at Brooklands Primary School, Grosvenor Grammar School and Queen's University Belfast. Sammy Wilson and Michelle McIlveen were teachers at his school. He grew up around a "very negative political landscape", where politics was "about being anti-Catholic, anti the Pope and anti-Sinn Féin." [2]

Political career

Agnew joined the Green Party in 2003 during its campaign against the invasion of Iraq. [3] During a protest march from Queen's to the US Consulate, he met John Barry, who convinced him that "the Green Party had a practical agenda of what needed to be changed". He came to believe "environmental justice is interlinked" with social justice. [2]

At the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election, he stood in Belfast East, where he took 2.2% of the vote and was not elected. Brian Wilson was successful for the party at the election, and Agnew became his full-time research officer. [3] He was the party's candidate for the 2009 European Parliament election in the Northern Ireland constituency, where he increased the party's share to 3.3%, although he still came bottom of the poll. [4] At the 2010 United Kingdom general election, he stood in North Down, taking 3.1% of the votes cast. [5] He increased this to 5.4% in 2015 and 6.5% in 2017.

In January 2011, Agnew was elected as the first leader of the Green Party, beating Cadogan Enright in a postal ballot. He successfully contested the North Down seat in the 2011 Northern Ireland Assembly election. [6]

Agnew announced he would step down as the Green Party NI leader from Autumn 2018, citing family reasons. [7] He resigned as an MLA in September 2019 to become head of the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group representing the renewable electricity industry in Northern Ireland. [8]

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References

  1. "Greens pick councillor as new MLA in North Down". Belfast Telegraph. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  2. 1 2 Black, Rebecca (17 November 2014). "Steven Agnew: 'I work with Jim Allister... it's known as the naughty corner'" . Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Profile: Steven Agnew". BBC News. 12 May 2009.
  4. "European election result", BBC News , 8 June 2009
  5. "Election 2010: Constituency: North Down", BBC News
  6. "First Northern Ireland leader for Green Party", BBC News , 10 January 2011
  7. "Steven Agnew to step down as leader of Green Party in Autumn". The Green Party in Northern Ireland. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  8. "Former Green Party leader is new head of Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group". Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (Press release). 12 September 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Brian Wilson
MLA for North Down
2011–2019
Succeeded by
Rachel Woods