John Kyle (Northern Ireland politician)

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Cllr John Kyle
Dr John Kyle PUP sits on panel addressing poverty in the North (9691764621) (cropped).jpg
Kyle in 2013
Interim Leader of the
Progressive Unionist Party
In office
3 June 2010 – 16 October 2010
Preceded byDawn Purvis
Succeeded byBrian Ervine
Member of
Belfast City Council
Assumed office
April 2015
Member of
Belfast City Council
In office
February 2007 – April 2015
Personal details
Born1951 (age 70–71)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political partyUUP
Other political
PUP (before 2021)
Alma materQueens University of Belfast
ProfessionGeneral Practitioner
WebsiteCllr Dr John Kyle

John Kyle (born 1951) is a Councillor on Belfast City Council, and the former interim leader of the centre-left loyalist Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) in Northern Ireland. He joined the Ulster Unionist Party in 2022.[1]


Kyle was born in East Belfast and attended Grosvenor Grammar School and Queen's University Belfast (QUB). He graduated as a medical doctor in 1975 and has practiced medicine in Belfast and London. Since 1993, he has been a General Practitioner at Holywood Arches Health Centre.[2]

Kyle was co-opted onto Belfast City Council following the death of party leader and MLA, David Ervine in 2007, sitting with party colleague Hugh Smyth. He is a member of Belfast City Council's Development Committee, Health and Environmental Services Committee, and the Parks and Leisure Committee.[citation needed]

Due to the planned change in local councils in Northern Ireland, the local elections due for 2009 were postponed, awaiting provisions for the new eleven council model (as agreed by the DUP/Sinn Féin led government); and as a result Kyle, along with all other councillors remained in office. Kyle was re-elected to Belfast City Council in 2011. Following the resignation of Dawn Purvis MLA from the party on 3 June 2010, Kyle was selected as interim leader.[3]

Purvis' resignation came in the aftermath of a killing in the Shankill Road area of West Belfast, widely believed to be carried out by the PUP-linked Ulster Volunteer Force. Purvis announced that she could no longer "defend the indefensible", in a clear reference to the killing.[citation needed]

Kyle as a result became interim leader of a party facing a very uncertain future; with no representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and loyalist politics in clear disagreement with the UVF. On the day after the funeral of the murdered man, Kyle claimed that he believed that the UVF had still not decommissioned all of its weapons - as previously confirmed by the Independent Monitoring Commission.[4]

A General Meeting of the Progressive Unionist Party held in Belfast on 10 June 2010 issued a statement detailing the Party's continued support of Dr Kyle as interim leader, whilst the party has "space and time for a period of mature and considered reflection with reference to its future direction." Kyle has campaigned over a period of years against expansion of the George Best Belfast City Airport because of alleged noise and other effects on householders.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Kyle lives in his native East Belfast, and is married with five grown children.[2]


  1. ^ "Dr John Kyle joins UUP weeks after quitting PUP". BBC News. 10 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Dr John Kyle profile". Progressive Unionist Party. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Dawn Purvis resigns as PUP leader". RTÉ.ie. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  4. ^ "UVF 'still has guns' - PUP leader". BBC News. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Progressive Unionist Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nigel Gardiner
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Unionist Party
Succeeded by
Post vacant