Tom Elliott

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For other people named Thomas Elliott, see Thomas Elliott (disambiguation).
Tom Elliott
Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
In office
22 September 2010 – 31 March 2012
Preceded by Sir Reg Empey
Succeeded by Mike Nesbitt
Spokesperson for Justice and the Environment
Assumed office
22 September 2010
Deputy Danny Kennedy
John McCallister
Preceded by Reg Empey
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Assumed office
26 November 2003
Preceded by Sam Foster
Personal details
Born (1963-12-11) 11 December 1963 (age 51)
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Ulster Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Anne
Children 2
Alma mater College of Agriculture
Profession Farmer, Soldier
Religion Anglican
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Unit Royal Irish Regiment
Ulster Defence Regiment
Battles/wars The Troubles

Tom Elliott (born 11 December 1963) is a Northern Irish politician who has been the Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone since 2003, and was the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 2010 to 2012.[1]


Elliott was educated at Ballinamallard Primary School and Duke of Westminster High School, Ballinamallard & Kesh. Afterwards, he earned a College Certificate in Agriculture from the Enniskillen College of Agriculture.[2]


Elliott has been an activist in the Ballinamallard Ward Ulster Unionist committee for many years and is Chairman of that committee. He has also benn Honorary Secretary of the Fermanagh Divisional Unionist Association since 1998 and was Chairman of the internal Ulster Unionist ad-hoc Review Group for its duration.[2]

Elliott was the election agent for James Cooper in 2001 Westminster campaign and in June of the same year was elected an Ulster Unionist Councillor on Fermanagh District Council representing Erne North. He was re-elected May 2005 but resigned to allow a Co-option in August 2010. In November 2003 he was elected as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly representing Fermanagh & South Tyrone, a position to which he was re-elected in March 2007 and May 2011. In this role he served as Ulster Unionist Assembly spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Currently Vice Chair of the Agricultural Committee in Stormont and also sits as a member of the Committee of the Office of the First and deputy First Minister.

Elliott was selected as the UUP candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone UK Parliament constituency in the 2005 general election but was not elected. He was selected again for the 2010 general election, but stood down in favour of independent Unionist candidate Rodney Connor.

Party leadership[edit]

In June 2010, Elliott announced his intention to run in the Ulster Unionist Party leadership election, 2010.[3] He was elected although not without some controversy. It emerged shortly before the leadership election that a quarter of the UUP membership came from Fermanagh and South Tyrone, a disproportionately high figure.[4] The Irish political magazine, the Phoenix, described Elliott as a "blast from the past" and that his election signified "a significant shift to the right" by the UUP [5]

In March 2012, Elliot announced that he would quit as leader of the Ulster Unionists.[6] When asked about his reasoning, he said that "some people have not given [him] a fair opportunity at developing and progressing many initiatives", going on to say that some of the hostility began immediately after he was selected as leader. He also accused some party members of making his job more difficult by briefing journalists.[7] His resignation triggered the 2012 Ulster Unionist Party leadership election.[8]

Elliot will remain a member of the Assembly for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.[8]

Membership of the Loyal Orders[edit]

Elliott is a Past County Grand Master of the Orange Order within Fermanagh,[9] and Assistant Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Ireland. He is also a member of the Royal Black Preceptory and the Kesh branch of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD).

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Anne and has one daughter and one son. They live on the family farm near Ballinamallard. He is a member of Magheracross Church of Ireland Parish Church. He also has a strong interest in local soccer at Ballinamallard Football Club. He served part-time in the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Regiment for 18 years.


Elliott caused controversy while campaigning for the UUP leadership when he stated publicly that he wouldn't attend gay pride parades or Gaelic Athletic Association matches.[10] However he has consequently met with gay rights groups and GAA figures in Northern Ireland.[11][12]

After he was elected in the 2011 Assembly election, in his victory speech in Omagh Elliott referred to the Irish tricolour as a "flag of a foreign nation". When he started to receive heckles from the audience, he went on to describe nationalist supporters holding Irish flags as "the scum of Sinn Féin" [13][14] causing the Independent Unionist MLA David McClarty to quip that he "made Jim Allister sound like the Dalai Lama'.[15] Although initially refusing to retract his comments [16] he later issued an apology.[17]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Ulster Unionists pick Tom Elliott as new party leader
  2. ^ a b "Elliot Offial Page". Tom Elliot Page. Tom Elliot MLA. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Elliott announces UUP leadership bid", BBC News, 22 June 2010
  4. ^ "Legal threat to the UUP leadership race ebbs". 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Clarke, Liam. "The Belfast Telegraph - UUP’s ‘decent man’ Tom Elliott has had enough of relentless hostility". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ Edwards, Rodney (9 March 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Tom Elliott QUITS as UUP leader - First Interview". The Impartial Reporter. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Tom Elliott to quit as leader of Ulster Unionist party". The Guardian. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "New Orange Order leader elected". UTV Media. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "I won't go to GAA games and gay events, says Tom Elliott". 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  11. ^ "UUP leader Tom Eliott will meet gay community". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  12. ^ "Elliott's 'positive talks with GAA'". 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  13. ^ "Tom Elliott attacks 'scum of Sinn Féin'". 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  14. ^ "Tom Elliott apologies for 'scum' remark". 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Tom Elliott apologises for Sinn Féin 'scum' comments". BBC News. 2011-05-11. 
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Sam Foster
MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Reg Empey
Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Succeeded by
Mike Nesbitt