Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Parliamentary politics is a family affair in Northern Ireland

The next British general election is to take place on May 6th.  For many of the 18 MP’s in Northern Ireland, politics is a family affair with a significant number of relatives occupying paid positions that carry an array of titles and presumptions of rank.

Frances Campbell, Diane Dodds (until 28 April 2009), and Eleanor Donaldson have been employed office manager, secretary, part-time secretary, senior secretary, parliamentary assistant or senior research assistant reporting to Gregory, Nigel and Jeffrey.  Diane Dodds was elected an MEP in 2009.

Stephen McCrea has been employed by his father, William, as a secretary / case worker.  Paula Gallagher toiled as a research / parliamentary assistant to her father Eddie McGrady. 

The Paisley family have been heavily embedded in Westminster.  Ian’s daughter Cherith Caldwell acted as office manager while her sister Rhonda Paisley was diary secretary and parliamentary assistant.  Their brother Ian Junior was a part-time parliamentary assistant and is now a DUP candidate in the forthcoming election seeking the seat his father held in North Antrim.

Each member of the Robinson family worked in Westminster until Iris took her leave.  Their daughter, Rebekah, worked as office manager and part-time secretary for mum and dad.  Her brother, Gareth acted as parliamentary assistant to both and he also represents the voters of Castlereagh East on the Borough Council.

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