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The Democratic Unionist Party welcomes the news that the Rt Hon Nigel Dodds OBE, Deputy Leader, is to become a Life Peer sitting in the House of Lords. The conferment of this peerage is rightful recognition of the significant contribution Nigel has thus far played in both local and national political life.

Welcoming the news First Minister and DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA said,

“On behalf of our party and indeed the many people across Northern Ireland to whom Nigel Dodds has served, I am delighted that he has been recognised in this dissolution list. Nigel Dodds has spent the majority of his working life serving the public in Northern Ireland as an elected representative at every level.

He is widely recognised and respected throughout Northern Ireland and beyond for his record of public service and his strong advocacy for the Union and Northern Ireland’s place within it, serving the public through various elected positions for thirty-four years.

My warmest and best wishes to Nigel, Diane and the family, especially Nigel’s mum, Doreen who will be justifiably proud of her son.”

Mr Nigel Dodds said,

“I feel very honoured and humbled to be granted a peerage and a seat in the House of Lords.

I am very grateful to my many friends and colleagues who have supported and worked with me over many years and helped advance the causes we cherish.

Throughout my political career I have always endeavoured to represent all of my constituents to the very best of my ability in whatever forum I have had the honour to serve.

At this new juncture of my career I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Northern Ireland in Parliament.

Our nation is confronting some of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. There are very important issues which we in Northern Ireland must continue to work through, building on the progress our society has made since I first entered politics.

In all of my work my aim will be to make a positive contribution to keep Northern Ireland moving forward.”

Note to editors

Biography on Rt Hon Nigel Alexander Dodds OBE

Nigel first entered public office in 1985 when he was elected to represent the Castle District of North Belfast on Belfast City Council, serving continuously for 25 years.

During that time Nigel served as Lord Mayor of Belfast on two occasions, 1988-89 and 1991-92, being the youngest person at that time ever elected to hold the office of first citizen of Belfast.

During his twelve years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly Nigel served in the first Northern Ireland Executive as Minister for Social Development in 1999-2000 and again from 2001-2002.

Upon the return of devolved Government to Northern Ireland in 2007, following the political agreement between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein, Nigel served as Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment between 8th May 2007 to 5th June 2008 and as Northern Ireland’s Minister of Finance and Personnel from 5th June 2008 to 1st July 2009.

Nigel was elected as Member of Parliament for North Belfast on 7th June 2001 and served for 18 years until 2019.

During that period he built a very strong reputation for constituency work and delivery on the ground across all areas of North Belfast.

Between 2017 and 2019 he led the Democratic Unionist Party’s representatives on the Co-ordination Committee set up under the terms of the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Conservative Party.