NI: NI barrister becomes junior minister one month after co-option

Emma Pengelly
Emma Pengelly MLA

A qualified barrister and former law lecturer who was co-opted as an MLA a mere month ago has been elevated to the rank of junior minister.

Emma Pengelly MLA, who stopped practising as a barrister to become a government special advisor in 2007, joined the Northern Ireland Assembly after being co-opted as a DUP MLA for Belfast South on 28 September 2015.

She has now been appointed as a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM).

Ms Pengelly was a part-time lecturer and tutor in law at the University of Ulster between 2004-06, and a barrister-at-law between 2003-07.

She studied at Queen’s University Belfast and won the university’s Pat Finucane Prize for Criminal Procedure - Indictment while studying to become a barrister.

Ms Pengelly told the Belfast Telegraph after her promotion: “I am looking forward to the challenge and also the opportunities that it provides.

“I come from having been a special advisor in the department, so I will obviously be aware of all of the key issues it has been involved with in the last eight years.”

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