Sammy Wilson MP MLA was born in Belfast in April 1953 and is now one of Northern Ireland’s best known politicians. Educated at Methodist College Belfast, he went on to graduate in Economics and Politics from Queens University Belfast and then from Stranmillis Teaching College. Mr Wilson took up a teaching post at Grosvenor Grammar School after graduation where he was to become Head of Economics and Assistant Chief Examiner for A-Level Economics in Northern Ireland.
Sammy Wilson MP began his life in politics as the Democratic Unionist Party Press Officer and in 1981 he was elected as a DUP councillor to Belfast City Council, a position he held until 2010. Wilson became the first person from the party to serve as Lord Mayor of the City in 1986/1987 and did so again in 2000/2001.
Mr Wilson was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in May 1996 for the constituency of East Belfast (1996-98) and went on to represent this area again after the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998.
In the Assembly election of 2003 Sammy Wilson was successful in being re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the East Antrim constituency and was joined by fellow East Antrim party candidates George Dawson and David Hilditch. This momentum was carried through to the Westminster Election on 5 May 2005 which saw Sammy Wilson being elected as Member of Parliament for East Antrim with 49.6% of the vote. Despite unfavourable boundary changes he was reelected in 2010 with a majority of 6770.
Sammy Wilson is a former member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and Northern Ireland Housing Council. Mr Wilson is the DUP spokesperson for Education and Policing, and has special political interest in socio-economic issues. At Westminster he is the Party spokesperson on Education and skills, as well as Housing.
In June 2008 Mr Wilson was appointed Minister of the Environment by Party Leader Peter Robinson. During this time he introduced PPS21 regarding Sustainable Development in the Countryside and took forward work on the Reform of Local Government. In June 2009, he was promoted to the role of Minister of Finance and Personnel. During his time in office, Mr Wilson has sought to protect Northern Ireland from the worst effects of the Coalition Government cuts and and help grow Northern Ireland’s economy. He has helped small businesses by introducing a small business rates relief scheme and helped householders by keeping rates increases to no more than inflation. He has been involved in discussions with the Treasury about the devolution of Corporation Tax and successfully negotiated the devolution of Air Passenger Duty on long haul flights, safeguarding the Belfast- Newark route.
Away from politics Sammy Wilson is a keen gardener and motorbike enthusiast as well as taking a keen interest in animals and birds.