David Cook (politician)

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David Sommerville Cook (born 1943 or 1944) is a former politician in Northern Ireland.

Cook works as a solicitor, eventually becoming a senior partner at Sheldon and Stewart Solicitors.[1]

In 1970, Cook was a founder member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI),[2] while he was elected to the party's Central Executive in 1971.[3] He was elected to Belfast City Council in 1973,[4] a position he held until 1985.[5] In 1978, he became the first non-unionist Lord Mayor of Belfast since partition (the pro-Home Rule Liberal William James Pirrie having held the post in the 1890s).[6]

He stood for APNI in Belfast South in the February 1974 general election, taking just under 10% of the vote.[7] He was able to improve to 27% of the vote at the Belfast South by-election, 1982. Following this, he won a seat on the Northern Ireland Assembly representing Belfast South. In the 1983 general election, 1986 by-election and 1987 general election, he consistently won over 20% of the votes cast in Belfast South. He also stood for Alliance in the European Parliament election, 1984, but took only 4% of the vote.[7]

From 1980 until 1984, Cook served as the Deputy Leader of APNI.[1]

In 1994, Cook became the Chairman of the Police Authority of Northern Ireland, but he was sacked from this role in 1996 after losing a vote of confidence.[8] After a critical account of his role appeared in 1998, he undertook a lengthy libel case, ultimately settled out of court.[9] He subsequently sat on the Craigavon Health and Social Services Trust.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Policing in Northern Ireland". Meathpeacegroup.org. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  2. ^ "Cook raps 'mean spirited unionism'". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 1997-02-11. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  3. ^ Dr Martin Melaugh. "APNI - Alliance Annual Conference 1971". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  4. ^ "The Local Government Elections 1973-1981: Belfast". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Local Government Elections 1985 - 1989: Belfast". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  6. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict - 1978". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  7. ^ a b "David Cook candidacies". Electionsireland.org. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  8. ^ "Mayhew's dilemma in police watchdog crisis". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 1996-02-23. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  9. ^ "Police Authority pair settle out of court". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 2001-11-12. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  10. ^ "Why Alliance critics point accusing finger". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 1996-12-12. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
Political offices
Preceded by
James Stewart
Lord Mayor of Belfast
1978 - 79
Succeeded by
Billy Bell
Party political offices
Preceded by
Basil Glass
Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
1980 - 84
Succeeded by
Addie Morrow