Stephen Farry

Member of Parliament for North Down



Stephen Farry became the second-ever Alliance MP when he was elected to represent North Down in December 2019 with a 2,968 majority. The seat had previously been held by the independent unionist Sylvia Hermon for 18 years and is strongly unionist. Farry managed to grow his party’s share of the vote by almost 15,000 votes, campaigning largely on a Remain ticket. Farry is well-experienced in Northern Irish politics, having first been elected to North Down Borough Council in 1993. He later became mayor of the area in 2007 and the same year was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Following his re-election in 2011, he was appointed as minister for employment and learning in the Northern Ireland Executive. In this role, he announced a freeze on tuition fees in 2011. He also launched a review of apprenticeships and youth training, aiming to create a “gold standard system, to achieve a “rebalancing of the local economy and meeting the specific needs of business for a highly skilled workforce”. These changes were launched in 2014 and were praised by the Confederation of British Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses. In 2016, he was elected unopposed as the deputy leader of Alliance. His maiden speech in the Commons in 2019 was the first to be spoken in Irish since 1901. Farry explained he was aiming to “reflect the shared traditions of Northern Ireland”. As an MP, Farry has exerted considerable effort into scrutinising the government’s Brexit negotiations and the impacts of these on Northern Ireland. In 2020, he joined the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. He was one of a number of politicians claiming he was in danger from loyalist paramilitaries in May 2020.

Financial Interests

Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0