Matthew O'Toole has served as MLA for South Belfast from January 2020, having replaced Claire Hanna after her election to Westminster. He is the SDLP's Leader of the Opposition at Stormont and the party's Spokesperson on the Cost of Living Crisis. At the Assembly, Matthew has served as Vice-Chair of the Economy Committee and also sat on the Finance 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.
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Office Address: 30 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1FZ