Matthew O'Toole

South Belfast MLA


Matthew O'Toole has been MLA for South Belfast since January 2020, having replaced Claire Hanna after her election to Westminster. He is the SDLP's spokesperson on Brexit and finance. At the Assembly, Matthew sits on the Finance Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

Matthew’s political priorities include the local economy, sustainability and defending people here from the impacts of Brexit.

Until 2017, he was a civil servant in London, at the UK Treasury and at Number 10 Downing Street, including during the 2016 Brexit referendum. After leaving the civil service he wrote widely about the damaging effects of Brexit on the island of Ireland, as well as broader political and constitutional issues on the island.

Matthew began his career as a journalist. His writing on politics and Brexit has appeared in the Guardian, Irish Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Politico and elsewhere.

Born in Belfast, Matthew grew up in Downpatrick and attended university in Scotland. He now lives in South Belfast. 

Contact: [email protected]

Telephone: 02890233344

Office Address: 30 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1FZ


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