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Reg Empey

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A British politician. The Chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) since 2012.
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Reginald Norman Morgan Empey, Baron Empey OBE (born 26 October 1947) is a British politician who was the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 2005 to 2010, and has been its Chairman since 2012. Empey was also twice Lord Mayor of Belfast and was the Member of the Legislative Assembly for East Belfast from 1998 to 2011.


Political career

He first entered politics in the late 1960s when he joined the Ulster Young Unionist Council. Empey then rejoined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and was elected to Belfast City Council, serving as Lord Mayor in 1989–1990 and 1993–1994. He was appointed an OBE in 1994 for services to local government. Empey became increasingly prominent in the UUP and was often a member of its negotiating teams throughout the 1990s. In 1996 Empey was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for East Belfast and in 1998 and 2003 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly.


When the Northern Ireland Executive was formed in 1999, Empey became Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, holding the portfolio throughout the entirety of the Executive's existence. He was the Minister for Employment and Learning from 2007–10.


In 2005 Trimble resigned as leader following a disastrous showing by the UUP in the 2005 general election. Empey stood in the contest to succeed him and on 24 June 2005, was elected. In a reversal of fortunes, his main opponent was Alan McFarland, to whom he had lost the by-election nomination ten years earlier.


On 15 May 2010, Empey announced that he was to stand down in late 2010 as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. In August 2010, he confirmed that he would resign as leader in Septemb. r 2010.



June 4, 2010

updated: 2013-08-10

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