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Sir Robert Wilson Porter PC (NI), QC (born 23 December 1923) is a former politician and barrister in Northern Ireland.[1]

Born in Derry, Porter studied at Foyle College and Queen's University Belfast before in 1943 joining the Royal Air Force, and serving until 1946. From 1950 to 1956, he served with the Royal Artillery.[1]

Porter was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1965, and also became active in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). In 1966, he was elected to the Parliament of Northern Ireland representing Queen's University. In January 1969, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, after which he was appointed Minister of Health and Social Services. In March, he became the Minister of Home Affairs, and was also appointed to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland.[1] Within the Cabinet, he was regarded as a moderate, and declared that a broadening of the local government franchise called for primarily by nationalists was inevitable.[2]

Porter's seat was abolished for the Northern Ireland general election, 1969, but he was able to win the new Lagan Valley seat. He resigned as Minister of Home Affairs in August 1970.[1] He claimed to have resigned due to ill health, but he later complained that he had not been consulted about the imposition of a military curfew on the Falls Road in July.[3] He resigned from the UUP itself in June 1972, to join the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.[1]

From 1978 until 1995, Porter was a judge of the county courts.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Biographies of Members of the Northern Ireland House of Commons
  2. ^ Graham Walker, A History of the Ulster Unionist Party: Protest, Pragmatism and Pessimism
  3. ^ A Chronology of the Conflict - 1970, CAIN Web Service
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of Parliament for Lagan Valley
1969 - 1973
Succeeded by
Position prorogued 1972
Parliament abolished 1973
Political offices
Preceded by
William James Morgan
Minister of Health and Social Services
1969
Succeeded by
William Fitzsimmons
Preceded by
William Long
Minister of Home Affairs
1969–1970
Succeeded by
James Chichester-Clark
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