Dawn Purvis

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Dawn Purvis
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast East
In office
7 March 2007 – May 2011
Preceded by David Ervine
Succeeded by Judith Cochrane (Alliance)
Leader of the
Progressive Unionist Party
In office
23 January 2007 – 2 June 2010
Preceded by David Ervine
Succeeded by John Kyle (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1966-10-22) 22 October 1966 (age 48) [1]
Donegall Pass, Belfast
Political party Independent
Other political
affiliations
PUP (till 2010)
Website Official website

Dawn Purvis (born 1967) is a former Independent Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. She was previously the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) until she resigned in 2010. She lost her seat in the Assembly in the 2011 election.

Biography[edit]

Born in the Donegall Pass area of Belfast, Purvis joined the PUP in 1994.[2] She stood for the party in the 1996 Northern Ireland Forum election in Belfast South[3] and then in the 1998 Northern Ireland Assembly election in Belfast South, here taking only 271 votes.[4] She is now the director of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast.[5]

Political career[edit]

Constituency office of Dawn Purvis as independent MLA, Holywood Road, Belfast, April 2011

By 1999, Purvis was the PUP's Spokesperson on Women's Affairs.[6] She took a degree in Women's Studies, Social Policy and Social Anthropology and began working full-time for the party.[7]

Purvis stood in Belfast South in the 2001 UK general election, finishing in sixth place with a total of 1112 votes (2.9%).[8]

In 2006, Purvis was appointed to the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Her appointment was later criticised by the Democratic Unionist Party, due to the PUP's links with the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force.[2]

In January 2007, Purvis succeeded the late David Ervine as leader of the PUP and MLA for Belfast East. Commenting on her new role she said:

I am deeply honoured to have been made the leader of the PUP. However this is also tinged with sadness given the huge loss of David. It is a huge challenge to step into this role, especially after the good work he did. But this gives us an opportunity to rebuild and continue to serve working class loyalists and unionist communities.[9]

In her maiden speech in the Assembly she said "As long as there is poverty, and as long as there is inequality in education, health and gender, it will be my duty to articulate the needs of the working and workless classes in East Belfast."[citation needed]

She was re-elected in the constituency at the Assembly election held on 7 March 2007, on the tenth and final round of counting.[10]

Resignation from PUP[edit]

In June 2010, Purvis resigned as leader, and as a member, of the PUP because of its relationship with the UVF and the murder of Bobby Moffet which was attributed to that group by the Independent Monitoring Commission.[11][12][13]

Electoral defeat[edit]

In the 2011 Assembly election Purvis defended her seat as an independent candidate with PUP leader Brian Ervine running against her. In the end neither candidate was elected and instead the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland gained a second East Belfast seat.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "A new Dawn for the PUP", Belfast Telegraph
  3. ^ PUP bids to win Chinese vote", Belfast Telegraph
  4. ^ "CAIN Web Service: Assembly Election (NI) Thursday 25 June 1998". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. 1998-06-25. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Belfast Telegraph Friday 12 October 2012". belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  6. ^ Eamonn McCann, "Choice the PUP must make ... and soon", Belfast Telegraph
  7. ^ "Education", Belfast Telegraph
  8. ^ The Guardian. "Ms Dawn Purvis". London. Retrieved 2007-03-09. [dead link]
  9. ^ 4NI.co.uk News (2007-01-23). "Dawn Purvis chosen as PUP leader". Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  10. ^ RTÉ (2007-03-09). "Northern Ireland Elections 2007 - Belfast East". RTÉ News. Retrieved 2007-03-09. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Purvis quits PUP over murder of loyalist Moffett". BBC News. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  12. ^ "PremiumSale.com Premium Domains". Independentmonitoringcommission.org. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  13. ^ McDonald, Henry (3 June 2010). "The Guardian - Ulster loyalist Dawn Purvis resigns from party over UVF killing". The Guardian (London: The Guardian). Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Northern Ireland Assembly elections: East Belfast results", Belfast Telegraph, 7 May 2011

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
David Ervine
MLA for Belfast East
2007 - 2011
Succeeded by
Judith Cochrane
Political offices
Preceded by
David Ervine
Leader of the Progressive Unionist Party
2007 - 2010
Succeeded by
John Kyle (Acting)