Anne Dickson

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Anne Letitia Dickson CBE (born 18 April 1928) is a former Northern Ireland Unionist politician.[1]

Born in London, she moved with her family to Northern Ireland at an early age and was educated at Holywood and Richmond Lodge School.[2] After service as the Chair of the Northern Ireland Advisory Board of the Salvation Army she became actively involved in politics for the Ulster Unionist Party. Elected as chair of the Carrick Division Unionist Association she later became a member of the Newtownabbey Urban District Council; serving as Vice-Chair of the Council from 1967 to 1969.[2]

She was then elected as an Ulster Unionist politician for the Carrick constituency in the Parliament of Northern Ireland at Stormont as a supporter of the Prime Minister Terence O'Neill. After the dissolution of the Stormont Parliament, she was elected in the 1973 Assembly election for South Antrim as an Independent Unionist candidate having resigned from the UUP in 1972. After the Ulster Unionist party split in 1973/4 over the Sunningdale agreement she joined the newly formed Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI) along with other supporters of the former Northern Ireland prime minister Brian Faulkner. She retained her seat in South Antrim in the 1975 constitutional convention election. After the retirement of Brian Faulkner she became leader of the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI) in 1976, becoming the first woman to lead a major political party in Northern Ireland.[3][4] In 1979 she contested the Belfast North constituency in the Westminster election, polling 10% of the vote, the best performance by a UPNI candidate in Northern Ireland, however her intervention was sufficient to split the moderate Unionist vote resulting in the seat being gained by the DUP. The UPNI disbanded in 1981 after poor results in the local government elections that year and Dickson retired from active politics. Subsequently she was chair of the Northern Ireland Consumer Council from 1985 to 1990.[2] She was appointed CBE in the 1990 Birthday Honours.


  1. ^,4671283&dq=anne-dickson+ulster&hl=en
  2. ^ a b c Stormont biographies,, accessed 2 July 2013
  3. ^ A Women at the Center: Anne Dickson and the “Troubles”, New Hibernia Review (2009) ("Anne Dickson, leader of the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI) from 1976 to 1981. She succeeded Brian Faulkner, who founded...")
  4. ^ Cosgrove, Art. A New History of Ireland (orig. ed. 1987) (ISBN 978-0199539703)
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Austin Ardill
Member of Parliament for Carrick
Parliament abolished
Northern Ireland Assembly (1973)
New assembly Assembly Member for South Antrim
Assembly abolished
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
New convention Member for South Antrim
Convention dissolved
Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Faulkner
Leader of the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland
Position abolished