Ian has represented North Antrim since 1996 when he was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue. In 1998 he was then elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim.
As a member of the Assembly Ian served as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and also as a Junior Minister in the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister from 2007 until 2008. He was also a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board from 2001 until 2007.
After Dr Paisley stepped down as the Member of Parliament for North Antrim Ian contested the General Election of 2010 and comfortably retained the seat for the Democratic Unionist Party. He was again re-elected at the General Election in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Ian is currently the DUP spokesperson for Communities, Local Government and Culture, Media and Sports. He is also a member on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.