|49th Lord Mayor of Belfast|
|Preceded by||Martin Morgan|
|Succeeded by||Wallace Browne|
Tom Ekin is a politician and business owner in Northern Ireland.
A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".
Ekin joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and was elected to Belfast City Council at the 1997 Northern Ireland local elections.From 2000 until 2002, he served as the Chairperson of the Alliance Party.
The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) is a liberal and centrist political party in Northern Ireland. It has long been Northern Ireland's fifth-largest party overall, with eight seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, but placed third in first preference votes in the most recent election, winning one of the three Northern Ireland seats in the European Parliament.
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.
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 21 May 1997, shortly after the 1997 general election across the entire United Kingdom.
Ekin held his seat with an increased vote in 2001.In 2004, he was elected Lord Mayor of Belfast, but was chosen ahead of Democratic Unionist Party member Eric Smyth only on the casting vote of Martin Morgan, the previous year's Lord Mayor. Smyth instead stood for the Deputy's election, but was defeated by Joe O'Donnell of Sinn Féin, this time on the casting vote of Ekin. Following this defeat, reports claim that Smyth told Ekin "your hands are covered in blood, you shameless traitor".
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 7 June 2001, contesting 582 seats in all, along with the 2001 general election across the entire United Kingdom.
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.
Eric Smyth is a Northern Irish Unionist politician and Presbyterian minister.
Ekin led the campaign for greater political leadership in Council for the better governing of the City without the usual Sectarian carve up. Financial prudence and efficient decision making were frequent themes. As Chairman of the First Good Relations Working Group, Ekin presided over some fractious meetings about how to accommodate the aspirations of the emerging and proactive Nationalist group and others who were resistant to any change. A progressive Chairman of the Entertainments Licensing Committee, Ekin oversaw and led Licensees to accept their need for greater social responsibility in running their premises. Contentious decisions had to be made, such as electing the first Nationalist, then republican Lord Mayors, the display of flags in the Lord Mayor's parlour, then the flying of the Union Flag 24/7 at the City Hall all created tension, threats and attacks of various sorts.[ citation needed ]
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.
The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the Home Rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended with the introduction of Direct Rule. It was abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973.
The Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) is a small unionist political party in Northern Ireland. It was formed from the Independent Unionist Group operating in the Shankill area of Belfast, becoming the PUP in 1979. Linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Red Hand Commando (RHC), it was for a time it described itself as "the only left of centre unionist party" in Northern Ireland, with its main support base in the loyalist working class communities of Belfast.
Nigel Alexander Dodds is a Northern Irish barrister and unionist politician. He is the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Belfast North, and has been deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) since June 2008. He has been Lord Mayor of Belfast twice, and from 1993 has been General Secretary of the DUP.
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.
The Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) was a political party in Northern Ireland which operated from 1924 until 1987.
Seán Neeson is a politician in Northern Ireland who served as leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland between 1998 and 2001.
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.
Naomi Rachel Long is a Northern Irish politician who has been leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland since 2016. A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East since 2016, she previously held the same seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2003 to 2010 until her election to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2015 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Westminster constituency of Belfast East. She served as the second elected female Lord Mayor of Belfast from 2009 to 2010. In 2019, she was elected as the Alliance Party candidate for the European Parliament, becoming the first ever Alliance MEP.
Frank McCoubrey is a Unionist politician and loyalist in Northern Ireland, as well as a community activist and researcher. He is a leading member of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) and a member of Belfast City Council, representing the Court area as a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor. McCoubrey is a native of Highfield, Belfast.
Jim Rodgers OBE is a politician from Northern Ireland who was previously the High Sheriff of Belfast, the judicial representative of the sovereign in Belfast. He is an elected Councillor and appointed Alderman at Belfast City Council.
Hugh Smyth, OBE was a Northern Irish politician who was leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. He was a former Lord Mayor of Belfast as well as the longest serving member of Belfast City Council, having represented the Upper Shankill Road area since 1973. Smyth was awarded the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year's Honours list.
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.
David Sommerville Cook is a former politician in Northern Ireland.
William Humphrey is a Democratic Unionist Party politician in Northern Ireland.
Gavin James Robinson is a Democratic Unionist Party politician from Belfast in Northern Ireland. A barrister by profession, he was Lord Mayor of Belfast in 2012–2013 and has been MP for Belfast East in the UK House of Commons since the 2015 general election.
On 3 December 2012, Belfast City Council voted to limit the days that the Union Flag flies from Belfast City Hall. Since 1906, the flag had been flown every day of the year. This was changed to no more than 18 days a year, which is in line with British government guidelines regarding government buildings. The move to limit the number of days was backed by the council's Irish nationalists and the Alliance Party; it was opposed by the unionist councillors.
| Lord Mayor of Belfast |