Jim Shannon

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Jim Shannon

Member of Parliament
for Strangford
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byIris Robinson
Majority18,343 (47.3%)
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Strangford
In office
25 June 1998 – August 2010
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded bySimpson Gibson
Personal details
Born (1955-03-25) 25 March 1955 (age 64)
Banbridge, Northern Ireland
Political partyDemocratic Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Sandra Shannon
ResidenceGreyabbey, Northern Ireland
WebsiteJim Shannon MP

Richard James Shannon (born 25 March 1955) is a Democratic Unionist politician from Northern Ireland. He has sat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 2010 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Strangford. He had previously sat in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1998 to 2010 as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland) (MLA) for the Assembly constituency of Strangford. He is an advocate for Leave Means Leave, a pro-Brexit campaign.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Shannon was educated at Ballywalter Primary School and Coleraine Academical Institution. He was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment in 1973–1975 and 1976–1977 and was awarded the General Service Medal. He served in the Royal Artillery TA from 1977–88. He is a member of the Orange Order and Apprentice Boys of Derry.[2] He has been voted "least sexy MP" in a list of all Westminster MPs but laughed off his position at the bottom of the poll.[3]

Political career[edit]

Shannon was a longstanding councillor, first elected to Ards Borough Council in 1985 and serving as Mayor in 1991–1992. He was elected as a member of the Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue in 1996. Shannon was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Strangford in 1998 and then re-elected in 2003 and 2007, representing the DUP.

At the 2010 general election Shannon won in his own constituency of Strangford with 14,926 votes compared to the runners-up, the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists (9,050 votes).[4] The seat had been vacant since the resignation of fellow DUP MP Iris Robinson on 13 January 2010. Following his election to Westminster, he resigned his Assembly seat in favour of Simpson Gibson.[5] He also resigned his council in favour of Joe Hagan, who was subsequently deselected.

In 2016, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority announced it was launching a formal investigation into Shannon's expenses. In 2015, he was the highest-claiming MP out of 650, claiming £205,798, not including travel.[6]

In March 2019, Shannon was one of 21 MPs who voted against LGBT inclusive sex and relationship education in English schools.[7][8][9]

Shannon is one of the most active members of Parliament in regards to contributions to debates, due to his practice of intervening in almost every adjournment debate regardless of their topic; Shannon says that this practice is due to him wanting to offer support fellow backbench MPs who wish to raise issues in typically poorly-attended debates.[10]


  1. ^ "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave.
  2. ^ Jim Shannon MP MLA DUP
  3. ^ Jim Shannon laughs off least sexy MP rating BBC News
  4. ^ Strangford: Jim Shannon keeps Iris seat for the DUP BBC News, 7 May 2010
  5. ^ Northern Ireland Assembly Archived 2007-11-17 at the Wayback Machine, note 14
  6. ^ Expenses scandal, theguardian.com, 11 January 2016; accessed 28 July 2016.
  7. ^ https://inews.co.uk/news/education/lgbt-sex-relationship-education-mps-support/
  8. ^ https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/21-mps-who-voted-against-14198149
  9. ^ https://commonsvotes.digiminster.com/Divisions/Details/650#noes
  10. ^ "Commons' most prolific contributing MP says he just wants to support colleagues". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 3 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Forum
New forum Member for Strangford
Forum dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Strangford
Succeeded by
Simpson Gibson
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Iris Robinson
MP for Strangford