MLAs and Councillors pledge support for NI Cancer Strategy and Cancer Prevention at the 2024 Alliance Conference

MLAs and Councillors pledged support for the NI Cancer Strategy and Cancer Prevention at the 2024 Alliance Party Annual Conference, held this Saturday 2 March at the Stormont Hotel.

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland attended the conference as a voice for local cancer patients. The charity’s exhibition focused on the local support services available for people impacted by cancer, on how to reduce individual risks of cancer, and on how the Party could better promote healthy living and cancer care. As part of the exhibition, Cancer Focus NI asked the elected officials to pledge to support the NI Cancer Strategy, which identifies opportunities to improve cancer care but has been sitting largely unimplemented since its launch in 2022.

Speaking about the conference, Richard Spratt, Chief Executive of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, said:

“Our mission as a charity is to support local people on their cancer journey and to work to reduce the risk, impact, and outcomes of all cancers. MLAs and Councillors have direct contact to their constituents and can help raise awareness of the cancer support available and also on how to reduce individual cancer risk, through their engagements. At the same time, they can create the legislative environment that promotes healthy living, from enforcing sunbed legislations to reduce melanoma risks to enabling the resourcing of the NI Cancer Strategy. The political conferences are opportunities to directly engage with our elected officials on these issues, and we are glad to have been able to discuss them with Alliance Party representatives over the weekend.

“At the Conference, we also asked MLAs and Councillors to pledge to support the funding and implementation of the NI Cancer Strategy, ensuring delivery on cancer prevention and research objectives to enable better outcomes in the future. 13 MLAs, 17 Councillors, and MP Stephen Farry signed the pledge. We need this Strategy to be fully implemented to start seeing essential improvements to cancer prevention, speed to diagnosis, patient support, and more. The signatories’ commitment is especially important in light of the latest comments from Health Minister Robin Swann MLA on the Strategy, which continue to show a lack of urgency around cancer in NI.

“We are encouraged that so many Alliance representatives share our concern around the NI Cancer Strategy and the state of the health system in NI. We hope that they will turn their words into action to help mobilize delivery on the NI Cancer Strategy, waiting time reduction efforts, and more. We will be here to support them every step of the way.”

The full list of elected officials that signed the Cancer Focus NI “Cancer Commitment” is:

  1. Stephen Farry, MP
  2. Connie Egan, MLA
  3. Danny Donnelly, MLA
  4. David Honeyford, MLA
  5. John Blair, MLA
  6. Kate Nicholl, MLA
  7. Kellie Armstrong, MLA
  8. Nuala McAllister, MLA
  9. Patrick Brown, MLA
  10. Paula Bradshaw, MLA
  11. Peter McReynolds, MLA
  12. Sian Mulholland, MLA
  13. Sorcha Eastwood, MLA
  14. Stewart Dickson, MLA
  15. Cllr Aaron Skinner
  16. Cllr Andy McMurray
  17. Cllr Chelsea Harwood
  18. Cllr Christine Bower
  19. Cllr Claire Kemp
  20. Cllr David Bell
  21. Cllr Gretta Thompson
  22. Cllr Jack Gibson
  23. Cllr Jay Burbank
  24. Cllr Michelle Guy
  25. Cllr Nancy Eaton
  26. Cllr Nicola Parker
  27. Cllr Peter Lacery
  28. Cllr Robert Logan
  29. Cllr Ross McMullan
  30. Cllr Sharon Lowry
  31. Cllr Tara Brooks


MP Stephen Farry and MLAs engaging with Cancer Focus NI at the Alliance Party Conference 2024: