Current Speaker's Bio

Edwin Poots MLA

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Edwin Poots, pictured standing in the Assembly Chamber in front of the Speaker's table.

Mr Edwin Poots MLA was first elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 25 June 1998 for the constituency of Lagan Valley.  Mr Poots was educated at Wallace High School in Lisburn, and later studied at Greenmount Agricultural College.

He is married with four children.  He previously served on Lisburn City Council.   Mr Poots was a member of the Environment Committee and chaired the Committee of the Centre (Committee for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister) in the 1998–2003 Assembly.  On 8 May 2007, he was appointed Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the Northern Ireland Executive, a post he held until 9 June 2008.  He was subsequently made Deputy Mayor of Lisburn on 23 June 2008.  On 1 July 2009 Mr Poots was returned to the Executive as Minister of the Environment.  In May 2011, he was appointed as Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety until 23 September 2014.  From 2014 to 2016 he was a member of the Public Accounts Committee, Committee for Justice and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.  During the 2016-2017 mandate Mr Poots was a member of the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Committee on Procedures. 

Following the restoration of devolved government in 2020, Mr Poots took up his role as Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on 11 January 2020.  Elections were held in May 2022 for a new Assembly mandate and following political agreement in February 2022, which saw the restoration once more of devolved government, Edwin Poots was elected to the post of Speaker.  Mr Poots is now only 1 of 2 remaining members, still elected to the Assembly, who were originally elected to the Assembly in 1998.  He is also the first Speaker to have previously held the role of Minister.

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