Veteran DUP MLA Gordon Dunne steps down from Assembly due to illness

A veteran DUP MLA has announced he is stepping away from the Assembly due to a serious illness.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 6:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 6:29 pm

Gordon Dunne
Gordon Dunne

Gordon Dunne has represented the North Down constituency since 2011.

He made the announcement in a post on social media, writing: “Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with a serious illness, and unfortunately, my health means it is best that I step down from my role as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“I have had the great privilege of serving as an MLA for North Down for over ten years, having been first elected in May 2011. During this time, I have been very proud and blessed to assist thousands of people from right across the constituency, and beyond on so many issues which impact on everyday life.

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“Having been an elected representative for over 36 years, I have always enjoyed serving the local community, as a Councillor for many years, serving as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and as an MLA for over ten years.”

Paul Givan, who will be nominated by the DUP next week to succeed Arlene Foster as first minister, tweeted: “I am deeply saddened that Gordon will be stepping back from his role in the Assembly.

“A stalwart of the party and faithful public servant. It has been a pleasure working with him.

“I wish him well in the time ahead as he focuses on his health and my prayers are with his family.”

DUP leader Edwin Poots paid tribute to Mr Dunne as having been a “shining example of a politician rooted in the local community”.

“Gordon has faced the diagnosis of illness with the same determination and good humour which has marked his 36 years as an elected representative,” he said.

“I know the thoughts and best wishes of colleagues not just in the DUP, but across the political spectrum are with Gordon as he steps down from public life.

“Firstly as a councillor and then as an MLA, Gordon has been a shining example of a politician rooted in the local community and focused on its needs.

“Both as a colleague and as a friend I wish Gordon well as he focuses on his health and enjoys more time with his family. Whilst stepping back from public life Gordon will remain as an encourager and guide to many of us within the party.”

Paul Givan, who will be nominated by the DUP next week to succeed Arlene Foster as first minister, tweeted: “I am deeply saddened that Gordon will be stepping back from his role in the Assembly.

“A stalwart of the party and faithful public servant. It has been a pleasure working with him.

“I wish him well in the time ahead as he focuses on his health and my prayers are with his family.”