Alex Attwood

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For the American politician, see Alex Atwood.
Alex Attwood
Alex Attwood 2015.jpg
Attwood in 2015
Minister of the Environment
In office
6 May 2011 – 16 July 2013
Preceded by Edwin Poots
Succeeded by Mark H. Durkan
Minister for Social Development
In office
7 February 2010 – 6 May 2011
Preceded by Margaret Ritchie
Succeeded by Nelson McCausland
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast West
Assumed office
25 June 1998
Preceded by New Creation
Personal details
Born (1959-04-26) 26 April 1959 (age 57)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party SDLP
Spouse(s) Orla Attwood
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Profession Solicitor
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Alex Attwood SDLP

Alex Attwood MLA (born 26 April 1959) is an Irish politician, who served as Minister for Environment in the Northern Ireland Executive. He is a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and represents Belfast West in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and is currently active on Twitter.

Early career[edit]

Educated at Queen's University, Belfast, where he served as President of the Students' Union, he later became a practising solicitor. Attwood was a member of Belfast City Council for the Upper Falls, West Belfast from 1985 to 2001. He was a former leader of the SDLP Belfast City Council Group. In 1997, he participated in negotiations for the first Nationalist Mayor of Belfast, having failed to secure his own nomination for the post within his political grouping.

In 1997, he was appointed by John Hume to the Dublin Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. Attwood was a member of the SDLP Talks Team, playing a key negotiating role on policing, human rights and justice issues. He was elected to Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998. Attwood is the SDLP spokesperson on policing and has played a key role in negotiations on the Policing Bill. He was appointed to the Northern Ireland Policing Board in September 2001.

In May 2010, he succeeded Margaret Ritchie as Minister for Social Development.[1] In May 2011 he was appointed as Minister for Environment, succeeding Edwin Poots.[2] As Environment Minister, he has faced some opposition when trying to set up two national parks in Northern Ireland from the Ulster Farmer's Union. The president of the UFU, Harry Sinclair, said: "We have consistently highlighted that there are genuine and deep-seated concerns from our members across a very wide range of issues particularly on the areas of bureaucracy, additional restrictions, governance, access, liability, and the impact on the social structure of these areas. These very real issues clearly remain."[3]


Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for Belfast West
1998 -
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Lennon
Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Succeeded by
Patricia Lewsley
Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Ritchie
Minister for Social Development
2010 - 2011
Succeeded by
Nelson McCausland
Preceded by
Edwin Poots
Minister of the Environment
2011 - 2013
Succeeded by
Mark H. Durkan
Party political offices