Naomi Long

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Not to be confused with Naomi Lang.
Naomi Long
Belfast City Marathon, May 2010 (08).JPG
Member of Parliament
for Belfast East
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Peter Robinson
Succeeded by Gavin Robinson
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast East
In office
26 November 2003 – 5 July 2010
Preceded by John Alderdice
Succeeded by Chris Lyttle
54th Lord Mayor of Belfast
In office
June 2009 – June 2010
Preceded by Tom Hartley
Succeeded by Pat Convery
Personal details
Born Naomi Rachel Johnston
(1971-12-13) 13 December 1971 (age 43)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political party Alliance
Spouse(s) Michael Long
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Profession Engineer
Religion Presbyterian
Website Naomi Long's Website

Naomi Rachel Long (née Johnston; born 13 December 1971) is a Northern Irish politician. She is a member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and currently its deputy leader. She represented Belfast East in the United Kingdom House of Commons from 2010 to 2015, and previously represented the same constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly. She served as the second elected female Lord Mayor of Belfast from 2009 to 2010.

Background[edit]

Born in East Belfast, she attended Mersey Street Primary and Bloomfield Collegiate School. She graduated from Queen's University of Belfast with a degree in civil engineering in 1994, worked in a structural engineering consultancy for two years, held a research and training post at Queen's University for three years, and then went back into consultancy (environmental and hydraulic engineering) for four years. She is married to Michael Long, and is a member of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

She first took political office in 2001 when she was elected to Belfast City Council for the Victoria ward. In 2003 Long was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Belfast East, succeeding her fellow party member John Alderdice. In 2006 she was named deputy leader of her party. In 2007 she more than doubled the party's vote in the constituency, being placed second ahead of the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. The overall UUP vote, however, was 22%. At 18.8%, her vote share was higher than that for Alderdice in 1998.

On 1 June 2009 she was elected as Lord Mayor of Belfast, defeating William Humphrey (Democratic Unionist Party) by 26 votes to 24 in a vote at a council meeting. She became the second woman to hold the post, after Grace Bannister (1981–82).[3]

On 6 May 2010 she defeated Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP, to become Member of Parliament (MP) for Belfast East in the House of Commons.[4] She became the first MP elected to Westminster for the Alliance Party (previously, Stratton Mills, a former Ulster Unionist Party MP, had changed parties to Alliance). Long also became the first Liberal-affiliated MP elected to Westminster in Northern Ireland since James Brown Dougherty in Londonderry City in 1914. Despite the close relationship between the Alliance Party and the Liberal Democrats, Long did not sit with the coalition government nor take the coalition whip[5] and was not a member of the Liberal Democrats.[6]

On 10 December 2012, Long received a number of death threats and a petrol bomb was thrown inside an unmarked police car guarding her constituency office. This violence erupted as a reaction by Ulster loyalists to the decision by Alliance Party members of Belfast City Council to vote in favour of restricting the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall to 17 specific days throughout the year.[7]

In 2015 Long lost her seat in the Commons to Gavin Robinson.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Offices held[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Robinson
Member of Parliament for Belfast East
20102015
Succeeded by
Gavin Robinson
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
John Alderdice
MLA for Belfast East
2003–2010
Succeeded by
Chris Lyttle
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eileen Bell
Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
2006–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Hartley
Lord Mayor of Belfast
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Pat Convery