From Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP <[email protected]>
Subject A busy week
Date March 2, 2024 8:53 AM
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Implementing our plan to make Northern Ireland prosperous

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Good morning, John

As Party Leader I try to combine my duties in London with engagements back home particularly speaking to Party members, supporters, and the wider community across Northern Ireland.

This is just a flavour of a week in the life of the leader of the DUP.


Monday morning is when we hold our regular update meetings with DUP Ministers and Committee Chairs / Deputy Chairs at Stormont to discuss upcoming issues and priorities ahead. Followed by weekly Group Meeting of all our MLAs.

In the afternoon I travelled to Westminster for the debate on the Humble Address ([link removed]) to His Majesty the King which formed part of the Safeguarding the Union command paper and reaffirmed Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.


Alongside the business in Parliament, I met with the Speaker of the House of Commons as part of his meetings with Party Leaders across the House. I also continued my series of engagements with Ambassadors in London to explain the Unionist position and the opportunities for investment in Northern Ireland.


During Northern Ireland Questions I had the opportunity to highlight that the first meeting of the new UK East-West Council ([link removed]) , proposed as part of the Safeguarding the Union command paper, will have its first meeting in Belfast this month.

Later on Wednesday I travelled back to Northern Ireland to speak to Party members in Newry & Armagh about my vision for the future ([link removed]) of Northern Ireland within the Union ([link removed][0]=AZW-qSCqIKA14DRWaqQ_-D26uEZPIEROjSt34LpCx4LNgv8z3vbbj2r2sV-FcjtpDSaW852H-doLSCineRSZBjKydPyy9lOKc3CbkHWg9hPxxa-T2ol9slC-WrxxzZgkbNa03svJjv9XrH0hlmOVoTJ1S39daov9Ul9OIlmdssqq9rLN6mGnnQaPuLvUYnDUMGg&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) .


After some party meetings, on Thursday evening I took partin a ‘Future of Unionism ([link removed]) ’ debate at Queen’s University which was jointly organised by our Queen’s Democratic Unionist Association and the Young Unionists at Queen’s. All the young people involved in putting on a professional, positive, and engaging event about the future of our Union deserve huge credit.


As with most weeks, Friday is filled with appointments and meetings in my Constituency office in Lisburn and this includes outreach to people from right across the community. The level of support for our current stance is so encouraging.

Our DUP Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive have hit the ground running and whilst some of my focus has been in London, they too have been busy this week driving forward issues that matter within their Departments.

The Executive Office – Emma Little Pengelly & Pam Cameron
* Supporting the Northern Ireland ([link removed][0]=AZU-0g3iD3wBVS1ORxE-ShzelbjE7fN_ZbO6gT2s8HULHz59hDD6H1z-wD2StPOFJKS2GUPtzXCxGVHbF2YYQYvVUfBOtVrW_IZ62t5HykKSmDZFnqEvjUyPT61BMfez9CAVJmnfOl45H931XJF1bJ3l&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) senior women as they took on Montenegro at Windsor Park
* Welcoming the Prime Minister of Kosovo ([link removed]) to Northern Ireland
* Hosting the Policy Chairman of the City of London in Belfast
* Attended the ‘Art for Life ([link removed][0]=AZVG4Nk7mTC5j5br9Z4gJ3IFEj4ly13bwxgGeOFRY5w8kw90mY1eOI-hwPGpC2jnDDeXDzxspbOZ4g064e21GJa1LB1A0R-7jFw08ib7WvZpKzTOtr63jXGhY6BrbgTDw3qP-7KAdVv2v4HkEEPqhlrm90PwTK4ZK-aDr9hzsTzfSkxYHKDYurm20Q6BWUB65sk&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) ’ exhibition at Ulster University, marking two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Department of Education – Paul Givan
* Addressed the INTO conference ([link removed]) and restating our commitment to resolve the industrial action within the education sector.
* Visits to Longstone School and to Fleming Fulton ([link removed])
* Attended the rugby schools cup ([link removed][0]=AZV0rPgkzYmvTQTJdYgZmV5KkDdTnqcoTTEch4kuikYsKWidvtfJsajrk2FMgm8ZeKGYqTtDWQhCRujK_CWLKxJ1JjLAkJ6hOb4z2PO1rbZHxFXVnrHyS41MLottnHfgLKJS67KhLoUUXehuKHmUeEYLPUrKblXTVRLZ7J3bkTgUqnrdFPcJoxAtp9TQr4EdGqA&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) semi-final, and the Northern Ireland schools football Centenary Shield game against English Schools.
* Met with representatives from the uniformed youth organisations.
* Responded to Questions from MLAs in the Assembly Chamber - including on action being taken to cut the cost of school uniforms. ([link removed][0]=AZXVr7ZIshJ3T49rlkWd5-r9hyf3SxNxmuWAXb-xKiG62u4KRvFL3-DHMnkNDXAXMXx9nchcDQxL3dZXR1XyGDGFKI8d5Do81TOeY_R60ZNMs25WiNJtczNZjAkH76Eb81SfeqmiBh_AzZ6BLl9MfzSOMB3WWl3Fs8FpdQgqLObEyCHdgMIH7NVs9xAMsEEpCic&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R)

Department for Communities – Gordon Lyons
* Met with the UK, Welsh and Scottish Sports Ministers ([link removed]) [link removed] Glasgow ahead of hosting the UK Sports Minister in Belfast on Monday.
* Supported the Northern Ireland senior women as they took on Montenegro at Windsor Park.
* Visited the Discover Ulster-Scots ([link removed][0]=AZV46ucQHqbWhvmcM5LibPfu4Byj1eN1hw5M2Wdy_Q7KknmD2puk0PcUMWmqIdysws_P34GIdQgRuBHjEKUzZWOuZoMYob9TPxi5614VLOGlq8jUszkYgl-c4SXtsqSLJEsgRVS-JAwFTWxpSkmF4YdwBEchR0ARjtCtS5rccNqj6LoKh7rKiBslWSjkPHb4VjM&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) Centre in Belfast.
* Met with officials from Mid & East Antrim Borough Council ([link removed][0]=AZVLEoMUXFeYGrBVu1ekI3SQOb7O6AWvDOztF0CFpvi-PqEqq8DUNkPO52D08UXk5ugF43cFNwkhagiQcRWLz7r0S2pJU_gLqGvj5DNOooW1qajv_n17YD_N8UKvAKOQQ461_Hkk0dvg46vIhyBbrQFH9pocs7vXv3eU48oqlJr1MNqH2auoXEQFiLUNJMDZ0SQ&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) to discuss heritage-led regeneration in Carrickfergus.
* Visited Chichester Library ([link removed]) in North Belfast.
* Met with representatives of the Community & Voluntary Sector ([link removed]) to discuss ongoing issues affecting the sector.

Thank you for your continued support, and we will continue to keep our focus on building a better Northern Ireland for everyone.


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
DUP Leader

** Chilren’s Hospice Petition

Phillip Brett MLA will present a petition on proper funding for the NI Children’s Hospice to the Assembly on Tuesday.

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