Like many observers, I was less than impressed with the mediocre leadership record of Alasdair McDonnell, the former South Belfast MP and head of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) from 2011 to 2015. Aside from his criticisms of Sinn Féin, I remember few if any significant contributions made by him to Irish politics as a whole. He was just another familiar face in the parochial affairs of the Six Counties, a parish pump politician who got lucky on the local rubber chicken circuit (albeit fleetingly and with little effect). So reports that he has formed a new lobbyist company in Britain with Danny Kinahan, an ex-member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), comes as no great surprise.
From the Irish News:
TWO MPs who lost their seats in the last Westminster election have joined forces with a former Stormont special adviser to create a new lobbying company.
Former SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell and former Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan have teamed up with ex-UTV journalist Ray Hayden to launch Upton Public Affairs.
The company, which is registered at a London address, was set up in October last year, just months after two of its three directors lost their Westminster jobs.
Mr McDonnell (68) was unseated last June by the DUP in South Belfast after holding the seat for the SDLP for 12 years.
Mr Kinahan (59) also lost out to the DUP…
I knew next to nothing about the well-heeled Daniel Kinahan, who represented South Antrim from his stately home at Castle Upton, until I looked up his Wikpedia entry. And what a praise-filled hagiography for wee Danny that turned out to be!
Daniel de Burgh Kinahan (born 14 April 1958) is a British politician from the Ulster Unionist Party, a former Member of Parliament for South Antrim and former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for South Antrim.
He is the son of the late Sir Robin Kinahan and Coralie de Burgh and was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School (Torryburn), Stowe School and Edinburgh University. He is a cousin of singer Chris de Burgh. Professionally Kinahan is an antiques expert and worked as Christie’s auctioneers Irish representative.
As Deputy Chair of the Education Committee, Danny became a leading figure during the passage of the Education Bill. Danny was vehemently opposed to the Sinn Fein policy of politicising Grammar Schools which are among the top performing schools in the United Kingdom. Sinn Fein’s campaign to scrap Grammar Schools was thwarted by Danny and his UUP colleagues who diligently argued the case for academic capability streaming.
The UUP decided to run Danny in the 2015 General Election due to his broad appeal which transcends the normal tribal politics in Northern Ireland. His popularity among unionists and nationalists alike saw him oust the incumbent DUP MP Rev. William McCrea…
Danny was one of the most active MPs during his two years in the Commons as he participated in hundreds of debates, Committee and APPG meetings.
Born and raised in South Antrim, Danny was the exemplification of a constituency MP.
Danny has consistently espoused a confident, outward looking pro-union message in his politics.
As a UK Armed Forces veteran, Danny was a prominent member of several military APPGs. Through his membership of these groups, Danny was able to articulate the needs and concerns of both current and former servicemen and women living in Northern Ireland.
Good for you Danny. And for our Alasdair!