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EDITIONS
Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
David Burnside

Date of birth

24 August 1951

Political profile

David Burnside managed to get elected to Parliament on his second attempt in the South Antrim constituency.

He stood there at the 2000 by-election, but was beaten by the DUP's Willie McCrea, only to find the tables turned nine months later at the general election.

In the mid-1970s he was press officer for the Vanguard Unionist Party, but then chose to base himself in England, where he was director of public affairs for British Airways.

He set up his own PR company in London. He is probably the nearest thing Northern Ireland has to a true Conservative MP and is said to want the two parties to work more closely together.

He is very close to fellow MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who many see as a potential successor to David Trimble as leader.

Mr Burnside has been one of Trimble's most powerful critics from within the UUP over the past few years.

Sceptical about the Good Friday Agreement, he opposed his party's return to the power-sharing executive before IRA decommissioning.

At Westminster he has the key portfolio of defence - as a former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment - and sits on the Commons environment, food and rural affairs select committee.

Contact

Constituency office 028 9446 1211

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