Jim Shannon

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Jim Shannon
Member of Parliament
for Strangford
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Iris Robinson
Majority 18,343 (47.3%)
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Strangford
In office
25 June 1998 – August 2010
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Simpson Gibson
Personal details
Born (1955-03-25) 25 March 1955 (age 63)
Banbridge, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Democratic Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Sandra Shannon
Children 3
Residence Greyabbey, Northern Ireland
Profession Farmer
Website Jim 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 sexiest 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]


  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.

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