Edwin Poots

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edwin Poots
Edwin Poots (cropped).jpg
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
In office
6 May 2011 – 23 September 2014
Preceded byMichael McGimpsey
Succeeded byJim Wells
Minister of the Environment
In office
1 July 2009 – 6 May 2011
Preceded bySammy Wilson
Succeeded byAlex Attwood
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Lagan Valley
Assumed office
25 June 1998
Preceded byConstituency created
Personal details
Born (1965-05-27) 27 May 1965 (age 54)
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Political partyDemocratic Unionist
Spouse(s)Glynis Poots
Alma materCollege of Agriculture
WebsiteEdwin Poots MLA

Edwin Poots (born 27 April 1965) is an Irish politician. He is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party and is a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Lagan Valley.


Poots was educated at the Wallace High School, Lisburn, and then studied at Greenmount Agricultural College. He is married with four children. He is a farmer and previously served on Lisburn City Council. His father, Charles Poots, was also a DUP politician, having stood in the 1969 Northern Ireland General Election for the Protestant Unionist Party.

Poots was a member of the Environment Committee and chaired the Committee of the Centre (Committee for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister) in the 1998–2003 Assembly. On 8 May 2007, he was appointed Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the Northern Ireland Executive, a post he held until 9 June 2008, when a cabinet re-shuffle saw this post being reassigned to Gregory Campbell.[1] He was subsequently made Deputy Mayor of Lisburn on 23 June 2008.[2]

On 1 July 2009, Poots was returned to the Executive as Minister of the Environment, in charge of the Department of the Environment. In May 2011, he was appointed as Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.[3]

On June 2011, Poots fired his legal shotgun twice from his upstairs window as a warning to intruders on his property in Lisburn, who then fled. His family called the police and an investigation began.[4][5][6] A DUP spokesman said "Given the risk to Mr Poots and his family, a legally held shotgun was safely discharged into the air by Mr Poots from within his house to alert the intruders that their presence was known."[7]

On 23 September 2014, Poots was replaced by Jim Wells as Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.[8]

Personal views[edit]

Poots is a young earth creationist and rejects the theory of evolution.[9] In the same interview, when asked by BBC presenter William Crawley how old the Earth was, Poots replied: "My view on the earth is that it's a young earth. My view is 4,000 BC." Young earth creationism is accepted by the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, of which Poots is a member, and other conservative evangelicals in Northern Ireland.

Poots caused controversy by banning blood donations from gay people, saying "I think that people who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood." He defined risky behaviour as "someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes".[10]

In September 2013, as Health Minister for Northern Ireland, he fought the ruling that would bring laws around LGBT adoption in N.I. into line with mainland UK.[11]

In January 2016, Poots was criticised by some for saying that the newly elected First Minister, Arlene Foster's, most important job was as a "wife, mother and daughter".[12] Poots defended himself saying it was not sexist and that he considered his most important job to be that of a "husband, father and son". Others considered his comments were kind and well meaning.[12]


  1. ^ "UK | Northern Ireland | Poots dropped as culture minister". BBC News. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "New Stormont ministers announced". BBC News. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Edwin Poots fired warning shots to scare intruders – BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  5. ^ "NI minister fired shots to warn off intruders". Rte.ie. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  6. ^ "NI Minister Fires Warning Shots | Northern Ireland News, 27/07/2012". 4ni.co.uk. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Peter Robinson announces 'major' DUP reshuffle: Edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland out". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  9. ^ William Crawley. "Will & Testament: Are religious politicians "nutters"?". BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ "BBC News – Edwin Poots criticised over African blood donation remark". BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Gay and unmarried adoption battle set for Supreme Court". BBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  12. ^ a b BBC Radio Ulster, Join William Crawley presents Talkback – Edition of 12 January 2016
Northern Ireland Forum
New forum Member for Lagan Valley
Forum dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Lagan Valley
Political offices
Title last held by
Michael McGimpsey
Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Succeeded by
Gregory Campbell
Preceded by
Sammy Wilson
Minister of the Environment
Succeeded by
Alex Attwood
Preceded by
Michael McGimpsey
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Succeeded by
Jim Wells