A lifelong resident of East Belfast, Naomi Long MLA grew up just off Mersey Street and was educated at Mersey Street Primary and Bloomfield Collegiate, before studying civil engineering at Queen's University. Following graduation, Naomi worked for almost ten years in the engineering industry in Northern Ireland.
Politically active since her early twenties, Naomi first joined Belfast City Council as an Alliance Party councillor in 2001. She was subsequently elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as MLA for East Belfast in 2003. After having the honour of serving as Lord Mayor of Belfast from 2009 to 2010, she became the first Alliance MP elected to Westminster, as Member of Parliament for East Belfast in 2010, unseating the then First Minister, Peter Robinson.
In May 2016, Naomi returned to the Northern Ireland Assembly as MLA for East Belfast, before becoming Leader of Alliance that October. Since then, she has presided over the most successful elections in Alliance’s history, with the 2022 Assembly election seeing the party’s representation more than double; the 2019 European poll seeing her elected as Alliance’s first ever MEP; and the UK General Election seeing the party elect Alliance Deputy Leader, Dr Stephen Farry, as MP for North Down.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union and intensive negotiations to restore devolution, Naomi returned to the Northern Ireland Assembly in January 2020 and has served as Justice Minister since then.