Rt. Hon. Jeffrey Donaldson, MP
MP for Lagan Valley
Democratic Unionist Party
Kilkeel, Northern Ireland
Happy to give my support to the work undertaken by New Story Leadership for the Middle East. During the dark days of conflict in Northern Ireland, we appreciated the opportunities that were provided to young people from both sides of the community to visit the USA and spend time learning about American life. This helped create better understanding and was one small step in the many steps required to bring peace to our country. I pray for the same outcome in the Middle East’
Biography: Mr Donaldson is a Northern Irish politician and Member of Parliament for Lagan Valley representing the Democratic Unionist Party. He entered politics following the murder of two of his cousins by the IRA in 1970 and 1985 respectively, stating in Richard English’s book, Armed Struggle: ‘A big part of the motivation for me in becoming actively involved in politics was the deep sense of injustice that I felt had been perpetrated against my people and specifically against my family and I wanted to do something about that. And that’s why, at the age of 18, I did two things, I joined the Ulster Defence Regiment and I joined the Ulster Unionist Party, because I wanted to pursue, through the forces of the state and the forces of law and order, the IRA and to oppose their campaign’. Mr Donaldson was returned to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in the 2005 UK general election and in 2007 was appointed to Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, making him the Right Honourable Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA. He was again re-elected in 2010. Mr Donaldson was a key negotiator in the Northern Ireland Peace Talks that led to the landmark 1998 peace accord.