Margaret Ritchie (politician)

Margaret Ritchie (Politician)

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Margaret Ritchie (politician)

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Margaret Ritchie (born 25 March 1958) is a politician from Northern Ireland. She is leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (elected on 7 February 2010) and served as the Minister for Social Development from 8 May 2007 until her election to the UK Parliament in May 2010. She was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of South Down on 6 May 2010. On 24 May, she resigned from the Stormont Executive. She was succeeded as Minister for Social Development by her party colleague, Alex Attwood. She was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) on 6 May 2011 for the constituency of South Down in the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2011, her first as leader of the SDLP. However, despite her respectable showing in her own constituency, there were losses for the SDLP in the election, reducing the SDLP's mandate in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 16 to 14 MLAs.

Early life

Ritchie is a graduate of Queen's University, Belfast and served as Parliamentary assistant to Eddie McGrady MP from 1987 to 2003.

Political career

Ritchie became a councillor on Down District Council in 1985 and was Vice-Chairman (1992–93) and Chairman of the Council (1993–94). She has also served as International Secretary of the SDLP and as an alternate member of the European Committee of the Regions.

She was nominated as the Social Development minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly by the SDLP which took effect on 8 May 2007....
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