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Nelson McCausland, MLA

Assumed office 
July 2009
Preceded by Gregory Campbell

Assumed office 
Preceded by Fraser Agnew

Born Northern Ireland
Political party Democratic Unionist Party
Website DUP website

Nelson McCausland, MLA is a Unionist politician from Northern Ireland. He was described as a "Protestant fundamentalist" in The Daily Telegraph [1]He is the current Minister (MLA) for Culture, Arts and Leisure in the Northern Irish Government.



He was educated at Belfast Royal Academy, Worcester College, Oxford and Queen's University, Belfast. He is a former teacher and a member of the Belfast Education and Library Board.


McCausland made his political debut in the 1982 Assembly elections, standing in North Belfast for the United Ulster Unionist Party (UUUP), when he was eliminated early on in the count. He appears to have quit the UUUP before the party was formally disbanded in May 1984 as he ran as an Independent Unionist in a by-election to Belfast area H in February 1984,[2] but polled only 9% of the vote. He stood again the following year for the Oldpark area in the local government elections,[3] but managed only 5% of the vote. He finally succeeded in gaining election for the Castle area in 1989, taking the seat of Alfie Redpath, the by-election victor of five years before.

He was re-elected in 1993 as an Independent Unionist but announced the week after the election that he would join the Ulster Unionist Party and became the High Sheriff of Belfast in 1997. He was a candidate for the UUP in the 1996 Northern Ireland Forum elections, but was placed third on the UUP list, effectively giving him no chance of election. He attempted to dislodge Cecil Walker as North Belfast MP during the 1990s [4]Disenchanted with the UUP under David Trimble, whom he had supported for the leadership, he defected to the Democratic Unionist Party in 2001 and was re-elected as a local councillor for the Oldpark area in 2001 and 2005.

McCausland has represented the Council on the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the Community Relations Council. [5]

He has been a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly since 2003. He has been suspended twice from the Assembly for unparliamentary language [6], related to allegations of PIRA membership made against Gerry Adams.

In June 2009, he was appointed Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.


He was Director of The Ulster-Scots Heritage Council from 1997 until his election to the Assembly in 2003, when he was succeeded by his party and Council colleague William Humphrey. McCausland is the DUP Party Spokesperson on Culture, Arts and Leisure.

He is also a member of Cross of Saint Patrick LOL 688. McCausland served as the Northern Ireland Secretary of the Lord's Day Observance Society from 1983-93.



External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Steve McBride
High Sheriff of Belfast
Succeeded by
Jim Clarke
Preceded by
Gregory Campbell
Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Succeeded by
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Fraser Agnew
MLA for Belfast North
2003 -
Succeeded by


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