David Simpson (Northern Ireland politician)


Thomas David Simpson (born 16 February 1959) is a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician in Northern Ireland, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Bann from 2005 to 2019. On 6 November 2019 Simpson announced that he would not be standing for re-election in the 2019 general election.[1]

David Simpson
Member of Parliament
for Upper Bann
In office
5 May 2005  6 November 2019
Preceded byDavid Trimble
Succeeded byCarla Lockhart
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Upper Bann
In office
26 November 2003  1 July 2010
Preceded byMervyn Carrick
Succeeded bySydney Anderson
Personal details
Born
Thomas David Simpson

(1959-02-16) 16 February 1959 (age 62)
Moy, Northern Ireland
NationalityBritish
Political partyDemocratic Unionist
Spouse(s)Elaine Simpson
ResidenceAnnaghmore, County Armagh
Alma materCollege of Business Studies
OccupationPolitician
ProfessionBusinessman
WebsiteDavid Simpson MP

Simpson had previously been a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann, from 2003 to 2010.

Political career


Simpson was first elected to Craigavon Borough Council in 2001 and served as mayor in 2004–2005. In the 2001 general election Simpson stood unsuccessfully against Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble in the parliamentary constituency of Upper Bann. In 2003 he was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann.

In Parliament

Simpson won the parliamentary seat from Trimble in the 2005 general election and retained his council seat. He was re-elected to the Assembly in 2007 but resigned from the Assembly and from Craigavon Borough Council after being returned to Westminster in the 2010 general election.[2]

Simpson used parliamentary privilege in 2007 to accuse Sinn Féin MLA Francie Molloy of involvement in the 1979 killing of Simpson's cousin, a former police officer. He alleged that Molloy had been an informer working for the British state within the IRA. Molloy denied both claims.[3]

Simpson was a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and the Commons Committee on Statutory Instruments (2006–2009).[4] and the Transport Select Committee (2007–2009). He joined the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in 2009.[4]

He has been DUP Spokesperson on Trade and Industry (2005–2007), Transport (2007–2009), Young People (2007–2010), International Development (2007–2010), and Business, Innovation and Skills (2009 to present), Communities and Local Government (2010 to present) and Education (2012 to present).[4]

In his role as DUP Spokesperson on Communities and Local Government, Simpson called on the Government to take action against cyberbullying including the consideration of legislation to make cyberbullying an offence. MPs debate cyber-bullying

Simpson is a former member of the Orange Order, in which he was Deputy Master of Loughgall District.

He is a proponent of creationism,[5] and his former election agent and constituency assistant, David McConaghie, who had played a key role in Simpson's 2005 election victory, was until late 2012 a prominent spokesperson for the Caleb Foundation which represented creationist and socially conservative evangelical Protestant views.

He spoke and voted against[6] the UK Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in February 2013 stating that "this is not the jurisdiction of this house [...] this is an ordained constitution of God, and that'll end in 'In the garden of Eden it was Adam and Eve it wasn't Adam and Steve.'"[7] The Bill covers England and Wales as family law is devolved in Northern Ireland.

Simpson is also a supporter of homeopathy, having signed several early day motions in support of its continued funding on the National Health Service sponsored by Conservative MP David Tredinnick.[8]

Personal life


Simpson went to the Birches Primary School six miles north-west of Portadown, and then to Killicomaine Junior High School in Portadown. He later studied at the College of Business Studies in Belfast (now Belfast Metropolitan College) and worked in the Universal Meat Company in Portadown. Simpson is married with a son and two daughters, and lives in Portadown. He is also involved in youth work and drugs rehabilitation programmes.

In 2018, after 30 years of marriage, Simpson reportedly left his marital home after allegations of his having an affair were published in a newspaper.[9] Subsequently, the woman involved wrote an apology and her husband forwarded some of the 11,000 texts that Simpson had sent during the affair to Simpson's wife.[10] The husband was later sacked for "gross misconduct" from his employment as a sales executive with the meat company owned by Simpson and his wife.

References


  1. "DUP MP David Simpson announces he will not contest General Election". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  2. NI Assembly membership, note 13 Archived 17 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Sinn Féin selects its Mid Ulster candidate", The Irish News, 13 December 2012
  4. Parliamentary biography Archived 2 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Lesley-Anne Henry (26 September 2007). "Tussle of Biblical proportions over creationism in Ulster classrooms – Education – News – Belfast Telegraph". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  6. British MPs back gay marriage legislation, The Irish Times, 6 February 2013
  7. Video on YouTube
  8. Tredinnick, David (29 June 2010). "Early Day Motion No. 284 British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  9. Northern Ireland politician sorry she slept with DUP MP – councillor's apology over affair, The Belfast Telegraph, 14 October 2018
  10. "Love cheat DUP MP sent woman 11,000 texts – and his firm sacked her husband". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2019.