Joe Hendron

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Joe Hendron bigraphy, stories - British politician

Joe Hendron : biography

12 November 1932 –

Joseph Gerard (Joe) Hendron (born 12 November 1932) is a Northern Ireland politician, a member of the moderate Irish nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Hendron, also a local GP physician for 40 years, was first elected as a political representative of Belfast West in 1975 to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention. He was later elected to Belfast City Council in 1981 and in 1982 to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Hendron was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Belfast West between April 1992 and May 1997 in the UK Parliament in London. He had taken the seat from Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams at his third attempt with a majority of 1%. He became the only nationalist MP to defeat Adams. The seat had previous been held for the SDLP by Gerry Fitt- later Lord Fitt until 1983. Hendron attracted unprecedented cross-community support from Nationalists and Loyalists in the constituency.

Adams regained the seat at the next election in May 1997 due to boundary changes favouring his Sinn Féin party, which brought the Poleglass and Twinbrook electoral areas into West Belfast parliamentary seat.

In 1996 Hendron was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum and in 1998 to the newly reconvened Northern Ireland Assembly. However he lost his seat in the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly election to a member of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party.

He was appointed a member of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission in 2005, BBC News, 30 November 2005, accessed 12 February 2012 Dr Hendron retired in December 2010 from this body, BBC News, 20 December 2010, accessed 12 February 2012