Naomi Long

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Naomi Long
MLA
Cropped image of Naomi Long.JPG
Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Assumed office
26 October 2016
Deputy Stephen Farry
Preceded by David Ford
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
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded by Judith Cochrane
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
Councillor on Belfast City Council
for Victoria Ward
In office
7 June 2001 – 26 August 2010
Succeeded by Laura McNamee
Personal details
Born Naomi Rachel Johnston
(1971-12-13) 13 December 1971 (age 46)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Political party Alliance
Spouse(s) Michael Long
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Website Official website

Naomi Rachel Long MLA (née Johnston; born 13 December 1971) is a Northern Ireland politician who has been leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland since 2016. A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East since 2016, she previously held the same seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2003 to 2010 until her election to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2015 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Westminster constituency of Belfast East. 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.[1] 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, an Alliance councillor on Belfast City Council, and is a member of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church.[2][3]

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).[4]

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.[5] 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[6] and was not a member of the Liberal Democrats.[7]

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.[8]

In 2015 Long lost her seat in the Commons to Gavin Robinson of the DUP, as a result of a five-party unionist pact in the constituency which saw the UUP, UKIP, TUV and PUP all stand aside in favour of Robinson.[9]

On 26 October 2016, Long was elected Alliance leader.[10]

Electoral history[edit]

UK Parliament elections

Year Constituency Party Votes % Result
2005 Belfast East Alliance Party 3,746 12.2 Not elected
2010 Belfast East Alliance Party 12,839 37.2 Elected
2015 Belfast East Alliance Party 16,978 42.8 Not elected
2017 Belfast East Alliance Party 15,443 36.0 Not elected

Northern Ireland Assembly elections

Year Constituency Party First-preference votes % Result
2003 Belfast East Alliance Party 2,774 9.0 Elected
2007 Belfast East Alliance Party 5,583 18.8 Elected
2016 Belfast East Alliance Party 5,482 14.7 Elected
2017 Belfast East Alliance Party 7,610 18.9 Elected[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graham, Seanín (4 Dec 2017). "Alliance Party leader Naomi Long lifts lid on illness she hid for 20 years, in hope of helping others". The Irish News. Retrieved 6 July 2018. 
  2. ^ "Biography_Naomi Long". 10 September 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  3. ^ "Naomi LONG (The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland)". 11 January 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "The ITV Hub – The home of ITV". U.tv. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  5. ^ "Inside Ireland". 31 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  6. ^ "Alliance must clarify precise relationship with LibDems" by Ian James Parsley, 12 December 2010. Accessed 16 December 2010
  7. ^ 3:34 pm, 9th December 2010 (2010-12-09). "No, I do not regret receiving the...: 9 Dec 2010: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  8. ^ McDonald, Henry (10 December 2012). "MP's office attacked in Northern Ireland". The Guardian. London. 
  9. ^ "East Belfast". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Naomi Long elected as new Leader of Alliance (The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland)". Allianceparty.org. 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated". Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Naomi Long at Wikimedia Commons

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
John Alderdice
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Belfast East

2003–2010
Succeeded by
Chris Lyttle
Preceded by
Judith Cochrane
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Belfast East

2016–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eileen Bell
Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
2006–2016
Succeeded by
Stephen Farry
Preceded by
David Ford
Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
2016–present
Incumbent
Civic offices
Preceded by
Tom Hartley
Lord Mayor of Belfast
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Pat Convery
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Robinson
Member of Parliament
for Belfast East

20102015
Succeeded by
Gavin Robinson