Office of the Speaker

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Edwin Poots, pictured standing in the Assembly Chamber in front of the Speaker's table.Edwin Poots was elected as the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 3 February 2024.

As Speaker he performs three main roles: procedural, corporate and representational.


Procedural Role

In this role he chairs plenary sessions of the Assembly, calling Members to speak on debates, maintaining order in the Chamber and replying to areas of dispute raised by Members. As Speaker, he is politically impartial and does not participate in any debates in the Assembly. In this work he is assisted by Deputy Speakers Carál Ní Chuilín (Sinn Fein), John Blair (Alliance) and Dr Steve Aiken OBE (UUP) (pictured below). He chairs meetings of the Business Committee which is responsible for determining the business to be discussed in plenary sessions.

Pictured left to right on the balcony of Parliament Buildings, Deputy SPeaker John Blair MLA, Deputy SPeaker Dr. Steve Aiken MLA, The SPeaker, Edwin Poots MLA, and Principal Deputy Speaker  Carál Ní Chuilín MLA

Corporate Role

In this role he chairs the Assembly Commission which is responsible under legislation to ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services it requires to carry out its work.

Representational Role

As Speaker he also performs an important representational role which includes: receiving VIP visitors to the Assembly, such as Heads of State, Ambassadors and senior political figures; attending external events to promote the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, such as officially opening the Assembly marquee at the Balmoral Show; and hosting events at Parliament Buildings to widen public access to their locally devolved institution.

Portrait of former Speaker William Hay unveiled

On Tuesday 23 April 2024, a portrait of former Assembly Speaker, William Hay, was unveiled in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings. Artist Stephen Johnson, current Speaker Edwin Poots and William Hay himself discuss the work that went into the portrait and the significance of the role of Speaker.

Visit to Parliament Buildings by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State

On 5th February 2024 the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Edwin Poots MLA, hosted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP and Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris MP on their visit to Parliament Buildings.

Speaker's Videos

Take a look back at the Parliament Buildings 80th Anniversary Open Day celebrations. This very successful event saw almost 5000 people visit Parliament Buildings to mark the special occasion.