Stormont crisis; who's the leader?

Though there has been some confusion previously as to what the current status is of the two DUP ministers is exactly; all appears to be clear now (we think).

The front page of last night’s Belfast Telegraph, tells us definatively that the DUP quits the Executive, on Friday.

Noel MCAdam reports:

Leader Ian Paisley said their pull-out came after David Trimble had rejected a joint initiative.

“Amid disgruntlement in the anti-Agreement camp, the DUP changed tack to “maximise pressure” on Mr Trimble. The party has a week to re-nominate but expects the Executive will have been suspended or collapsed by then. Initially yesterday the DUP placed two letters with Assembly Speaker Lord Alderdice, offering the Ministerial resignations in the event of the Ulster Unionists doing likewise.”

They by teatime, it appears they changed their minds:

“…the party leadership had agreed it should attempt to seize the initiative. Ulster Unionists, however, accused them of trying to play “catch up” and insisted the initiative remained with Mr Trimble.”

Ian Paisley Junior:

“Does Mr Trimble have the guts to act as a leader and follow the DUP decision to end this course of action which no one any longer can believe if they look at the facts. Violence is increasing on a daily basis. Shootings, terrorist attacks, blast bombs and beatings confirm that we are not in a peace process but on a downward spiral of violence.”

Mark Durkan’s wry response was:

“We have had some competition from different unionists in who is going to be first in what is almost a case of playing leapfrog on quicksand.”