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UK Parliaments - Other

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Northern Ireland

Devolved Parliaments of the UK

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Parliament opened Click to show or hide the answer
Closed Click to show or hide the answer

Northern Ireland Assembly (established by the Good Friday Agreement) met for the first time Click to show or hide the answer

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been suspended five times – the latest occasion (up to June 2021) being from 9 January 2017 to 11 January 2020.

Prime Ministers

The first three Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland (Sir James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon 1921–40, John Miller Andrews 1940–3, and Sir Basil Brooke, 1st Viscount Brookeborough, 1943–63) seem to be largely forgotten, at least by quiz question setters. For that matter, I can't remember many questons about the last three (below). But I remember these from news items at the time, in the early days of the Troubles; so I'm recording them here, if only for that reason.

1963–9 Narrowly avoided defeat by Ian Paisley in his Bannside constituency, in the 1969 general election; resigned in April that year as leader of the UUP, and as Prime Minister, after a series of bomb explosions on Belfast's water supply by the Ulster Volunteer Force; remembered by historians (according to Wikipedia) for his efforts to reform Northern Ireland's discrimination and sectarianism Click to show or hide the answer
1969–71 Succeeded the above as leader of the UUP, but resigned less than two years later due to ill health Click to show or hide the answer
1971–2 Cousin of the above, succeeded him as leader of the UUP; introduced internment in August 1971; resigned in March 1972, following 'Bloody Sunday' and Edward Heath's withdrawal of security powers from the Northern Ireland government, leading to the proroguing of the Northern Ireland Parliament, and its replacement with the Northern Ireland Assembly – of which he became Chief Executive on its opening in May 1973; was a party to the Sunningdale Agreement (December 1973 – an attempt to establish a power–sharing Executive), but opposition to it within his party led to his resignation in May 1974 and the collapse of both the Executive and the Assembly Click to show or hide the answer

First Ministers

1998–2002 Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995; won the Nobel Peace Prize (along with SDLP leader John Hume) for his part in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement (1998); resigned following his party's defeat in the 2005 general election in Northern Ireland; subsequently accepted a life peerage, and left the UUP to join the Conservatives Click to show or hide the answer
2007–8 Westminster MP for North Antrim from 1970, and MEP from 1979; founded the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971, and led it for almost 40 years; despite his previous hard–line Unionist stance, was a party to the St. Andrews Agreement in 2007, agreeing to share power with Sinn Féin; stepped down as First Minister and DUP leader in 2008; accepted a life peerage in 2010, but and left politics in 2011 and died in 2014, aged 88 Click to show or hide the answer
2008–16 Founder member of the DUP, deputy leader from 1980, and Westminster MP for Belfast East 1979–2010; became party leader, and First Minister, following the retirement of the above in 2008; stepped down in 2010 pending an investigation into a sex and corruption scandal involving his wife (returning after being cleared of any wrongdoing); stood aside again in September 2015 after the failure of his bid to adjourn the assembly (a response to a murder carried out by the IRA, which was linked to a party in the Northern Ireland Executive); returned 40 days later, but stepped down as First Minister in January 2016 and subsequently retired from frontline politics Click to show or hide the answer
2016–21 Stood in for the above during his two periods of standing down; succeeded him as DUP Leader in 2015, and as First Minister in January 2016; refused to step down when her Deputy (see below) resigned over her involvement in the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal, leading to the suspension of the Executive; took the DUP into an agreement with the Conservative Party to support Prime Minister Theresa May's government after it lost its overall majority in the 2017 general election; following the resumption of the Northern Ireland Assembly in January 2021, she resigned under the threat of a vote of no confidence Click to show or hide the answer

Deputy First Ministers

Under the terms of the St. Andrews Agreement on power sharing in Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister have equal status.

2007–17 Westminster MP for Mid Ulster, 1997–2013 (but like other Sinn Féin MPs, never took his seat); nominated by Sinn Féin as Deputy First Minister following the St. Andrews Agreement; resigned in January 2017 over the First Minister's involvement in the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal; announced ten days later that he would not be standing for re–election to the Assembly at the 2017 election, due to ill health; died on 21 March 2017 (aged 66) Click to show or hide the answer
2020 to date Represented Mid Ulster in the Northern Ireland Assembly, from 2007; appointed Vice President of Sinn Féin in 2018, by Mary Lou McDonald (as she succeeded Gerry Adams as President); appointed to the Executive in 2011 (by the above Deputy) as Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, and promoted to Minister of Health in 2016; appointed as Deputy First Minister following the restoration of the power–sharing executive in January 2020 Click to show or hide the answer


Scottish Parliament opened Click to show or hide the answer

First Ministers

May 1999 – Oct 2000 Often regarded as the father of the Scottish Parliament; Westminster MP 1966–70 and 1978–2000; Scottish Secretary 1997–9; died suddenly in 2000, while in office, of a brain haemorrhage (aged 63) Click to show or hide the answer
Oct 2000 – Nov 2001 Former professional footballer (a schoolboy professional at Leeds United, joining East Fife after only six weeks, his career was ended by injury); Westminster MP for Central Fife from 1987; resigned as First Minister following allegations that the sub–letting of part of his tax–subsidised Westminster constituency office had not been registered as an interest Click to show or hide the answer
2001–7 Previously the leader of Labour's campaign in support of Scottish devolution; chosen unopposed as First Minister following the resignation of his predecessor; left office after the SNP gained 47 seats to Labour's 46 in the 2007 Scottish Parliament general election Click to show or hide the answer
2007–14 Westminster MP for Banff and Buchan, 1987–2010; Leader of the SNP from 1990; elected to represent the same constituency in the Scottish Parliament in 1999; stood down as party leader in 2000, and from the Scottish Parliament in 2001, following a series of high–profile fall–outs with party members; a strong critic of Tony Blair over the war in Iraq; re–elected as SNP leader following the resignation of John Swinney in the wake of a "disastrous" showing in the 2004 European Parliament elections; re–elected in 2007 as MSP for Gordon, and became First Minister as the SNP were the largest party after this election; called an independence referendum after the 2011 election, when the SNP gained a majority of seats, but resigned after the No vote won; returned to Westminster in 2015 as MP for Gordon, but lost the seat in 2017; resigned from the SNP in 2018 following allegations of sexual misconduct, but was cleared of all charges in 2020; announced in 2021 that he'd joined the recently–formed pro–independence Alba Party, and become its leader (the party won no seats in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election) Click to show or hide the answer
Became SNP leader in the Scottish Parliament following the re–election of the above as party leader (while he wasn't an MSP); became his deputy in 2007, when he returned and became First Minister; elected unopposed as SNP leader following his resignation in 2014 after the Yes vote won the independence referendum, and appointed as First Minister Click to show or hide the answer

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, 1992–2005: served as Deputy to the three Labour First Ministers, and Acting First Minister between their respective terms in office Click to show or hide the answer


Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru) opened Click to show or hide the answer

First Ministers

This post was officially known as First Secretary for Wales until October 2000.

Seen as the architect of the Welsh Parliament; approved as Labour's candidate for the post of First Secretary, in September 1998, but resigned 40 days later (before the opening of the devolved parliament) following a sex scandal Click to show or hide the answer
May 1999 – Feb 2000 Succeeded Jim Callaghan as (Westminster) MP for Cardiff South and Penarth in 1987; remained as such until 2012, when he was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales; Sec of State for Wales, Oct 1998 – July 1999; seen as Tony Blair's preferred candidate for First Secretary (following the resignation of the above), over the man who would succeed him (see below); resigned after only nine months of minority government, as the other three parties united to table a vote of no confidence over EU funding Click to show or hide the answer
2000–9 Longest–serving to date (302 days more than the next); Westminster MP for Cardiff West, 1987–2001; retired shortly after his 70th birthday (remaining as a backbench AM until April 2011) Click to show or hide the answer
2009–18 AM for Bridgend, 1999–2021; previously leader of Bridgend County Borough Council; stood down after being accused (but cleared) of misleading the Assembly over allegations of bullying in his Government Click to show or hide the answer
2018 to date Elected to the Assembly in 2011; previously a university lecturer; served under his predecessor as Health Minister and Finance Secretary Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2021–2