David McNarry

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David McNarry
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Strangford
Assumed office
26 November 2003
Preceded by Tom Hamilton
Personal details
Born (1948-05-25) 25 May 1948 (age 67)
Nationality British
Political party UKIP (since 2012)
Ulster Unionist (until 2012)
Children 2
Occupation Businessman
Religion Protestant
Website David McNarry

David McNarry, MLA (Born 25 May 1948) is the Leader of UK Independence Party in Northern Ireland. He stood for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in North Down in the 1982 Assembly elections but failed to be elected. He was first elected as an MLA for the UUP in 2003 and subsequently re-elected in 2007 and again in 2011, before parting company with the party in 2012 and then going on to join UKIP. He is a former UUP chief whip and Education Spokesman.

A Northern Ireland Office (NIO) memo released in 2012 described him as "a dangerous nuisance".[1] McNarry is the current Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.[2]

McNarry was selected in 2001 to contest the Strangford Westminster seat after the incumbent, John Taylor, announced he would be retiring. Iris Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party was the eventual winner of the seat.[3]

McNarry is a former local councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ards. Prior to his election to the Assembly, he was an adviser to First Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble. He stood for the party leadership in 2005 along with Alan McFarland and Lord Reg Empey which Empey went on to win. Following the contest, he was appointed as the UUP education spokesman.[4] He is a former chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council.

David McNarry resigned from the UUP Assembly group on 27 January 2012 after being sacked by party leader Tom Elliott as the Vice Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.[5] After an investigation by the UUP Disciplinary Committee, McNarry was suspended. The new leader Mike Nesbitt commented publicly that he was unlikely to offer McNarry the UUP whip on completion of the suspension.[6]

McNarry left the Ulster Unionist Party and sat as an Independent for a couple of months before joining the UK Independence Party in October 2012,[7][8] becoming UKIP's first Northern Ireland MLA. In 2013, McNarry was appointed as the UKIP Leader in Northern Ireland. In the May 2014 Local Government Elections, under McNarry's stewardship, UKIP gained two new local councillors in the region, taking the total number of UKIP Councillors in Northern Ireland up to four. The party also received 25,000 votes in the 2014 European Election at the first time of asking in Northern Ireland. McNarry hailed the results as "no flash in the pan" and said that UKIP offered the "change that ordinary people need" in Northern Ireland. At the 2014 UKIP National Conference in Doncaster, McNarry delivered a keynote speech which was warmly received by delegates. He received praise from commentators, journalists and many of his peers who referred to the speech as a "statesman-like" address. In the speech, he noted that UKIP was the only National Party to have elected representation in each of the four parts of the United Kingdom. McNarry also warned Northern Ireland's five "not fit for purpose" executive parties that the national mood is moving towards Northern Ireland and UKIP are in the region to stay. As of writing, McNarry is UKIP's only elected member of a devolved legislature in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ "Senior NIO man called McNarry a dangerous nuisance". Newsletter.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  2. ^ "Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Grand Orange Lodge". Grandorangelodge.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  3. ^ "NORTHERN IRELAND | Orangeman wins candidacy battle". BBC News. 2001-03-20. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  4. ^ "UK | Northern Ireland | McNarry joins UUP leadership race". BBC News. 2005-06-07. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  5. ^ "David McNarry leaves Ulster Unionist assembly group". BBC News. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  6. ^ "McNarry return as MLA 'unlikely'". Newsletter.co.uk. 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  7. ^ "Strangford MLA David McNarry joins UK Independence Party". BBC News. 2012-10-04. 
  8. ^ "McNarry set to join UKIP". Newsletter.co.uk. 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Tom Hamilton
MLA for Strangford
2003 -
Succeeded by