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About David Ford

MLA for South Antrim 1998-2017, candidate 2017. former Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and Minister of Justice 2010-2016.

On 12 April 2010, David was elected by the Assembly as Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland, the first local Minister in that role since the suspension of the former Parliament of Northern Ireland in 1972. He stood down from this role in April 2016.

A highly active politician and one of the most vociferous supporters of the principle of partnership government, David Ford has campaigned within the Assembly and outside it for the building of a united community and has opposed actions which have reinforced divisions. When he stepped down as party leader in 2016, he led an increased team of eight Alliance MLAs at Stormont.

He has become known for his campaigning to improve the Northern Ireland rail network. He also has an extensive knowledge of rural affairs, both regarding agriculture and the wider social issues.

Within the environmental field, David Ford has campaigned on nature conservation, protection of hares, planning and waste management issues. He has strongly supported the introduction of alternative renewable energy.


As Leader of Alliance, David was responsible for breaking the deadlock over the election of a First Minister and Deputy First Minister in October 2001. He remains committed to building on the Good Friday Agreement to bring about a non-sectarian society. He opposes the sectarian aspects of the St Andrews proposals.

David is married with three daughters and one son. He was previously a Social Worker with the Northern Health and Social Services Board in Antrim, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus.

Political Career

  • Alliance Leader October 2001-October 2016.
  • Alliance Assembly Spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development, and on the Environment 1998-2010.
  • Alliance Chief Whip, 1998-2001.
  • Candidate, Antrim Borough Council, 1989 (Antrim SE); elected to Council (Antrim SE) 1993 and 1997; (Antrim Town) 2005. Resigned on appointment as Minister of Justice, 2010.
  • Candidate, House of Commons, 1997, 2000 by-election, 2001 and 2005 (South Antrim).
  • Elected to Northern Ireland Assembly, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016 (South Antrim). Candidate 2017.
  • Candidate, Northern Ireland Forum, 1996 (South Antrim).

Northern Ireland Assembly:

  • Former member of Business Committee.
  • Member of Departmental Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Environment in 1998 mandate, and the Environment Committee from 2007 until elected as Justice Minister in 2010.
  • Member of Assembly All-Party Groups on International Development, Mental Health and Animal Welfare.
  • Member of the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs 2016-2017.

External profiles

Salary and Expenses

Salary and expenses for every year since the Belfast Agreement restored devolution can be found here.