A Paisley stamp of approval then move on?

The Sunday Times is claiming that Ian Paisley would take the First Minister post to stamp his authority on any deal then soon after step down.PS Will someone please tell Liam Clarke that Jim Allister can’t be First Minister as he is not an MLA

  • Nevin

    Fair Deal, is it possible that Paisley could also step down from his MLA position – and hand it to Allister?

  • memorystick

    The DUP are so incredibly schizophrenic at the minute, a few days ago Paisley roared in Ballymena, no, never. Now this! Its some smoke and mirrors routine if they are trying to con those who they brainwashed in former times.

  • fair_deal


    That is not easy although not entirely impossible, each MLA candidate submits a list when they seek election with five names of replacements. Only after all five say no can a party nominate a new name.

    Also there is the potential problem of a dual mandate for Allister. I can’t remember if the dual mandate stuff applies to a regional parliament or not.

  • The Devil

    “The DUP are so incredibly schizophrenic at the minute…”

    As a certified schizophrenic I resent my illness being brought into disrepute.

  • Insider

    I doubt whether Jim Allister would be on Paisley’s Assembly list. The election took place in 03 and Allister didnt really re-appear onto the scene until 04.

    I cant see him stepping down as an Assembly Member straight away, unless there happened to be an election which allowed this.

    It wouldn’t be the first time, that this journalist, or many others has got the most basic of facts incorrect. Usually its placing someone in the wrong constituency, but its not hard to take a quick look at a Party website to get these things straight.

    “a few days ago Paisley roared in Ballymena, no, never.”

    However, at least this trait isn’t limited to jounalists. Read the story memorystick – if you are going to quote “roarings” at least mention that it was in Portrush.

    Anyway, the not sharing power issue has always had a definition there. Sharing power with SF/IRA (what Paisley said) has always been out of the question. Sharing with SF (minus IRA) is what will happen.

  • Rubicon

    Nevin – if Paisley (Snr.) was to have Allister in as his nominee it could certainly put the cat among the pigeons. A 3-way battle for the leadership would most likely follow with Dodd’s candidacy most put at risk.

    I recall a DUP MLA once telling me that the ascendancy battle within the party would not easily go Robinson’s way. He said, “Peter is admired – but not widely liked”. That DUP source was not a member of the ‘Taliban’.

    Wouldn’t Allister and Dodds be drawing support from similar constituencies?

    I’m no expert on this, much would depend on the DUP’s election rules for leadership; ie., staged eliminations v’s 1st past the post – and there would be no necessity for Paisley to relinquish the party leadership even if he was to step down as First Minister.

    Clarke’s article also points to SF moving to support the PSNI. In the short term it is this matter that is more important.

    All this of course seems academic and perhaps completely irrelevant if the DUP and SF decide to shelve devolution for a generation.

  • slug

    Its possible for Paisley to be an MLA and a Lord (see Lord Steele annd Lord Alderdice). But its not possible for him to be a lord and an MP. Therefore the idea of hom going to the lords opens up an MP position not an MLA position. From the way that bit of the piece is worded, I think it is speculation on Clarkes part.

  • unionist

    actually its well informed speculation. all is not well at dup central with mr allister very disturbed at the way things are going. he wants back into the centre of the action asap. this would mean him coming back as mp for north antrim or mla with ministerial post. the non-taliban element would prefer him to be mla since that ties him to the very process he is most against. allister as mp would have room to build a support base against the moderates in the assembly party who still (just) hold the upper hand.

  • Rubicon

    What’s “well informed speculation”? Is this UUP speculation?

    What evidence of “all not being well” has this speculation got?

    I think it’s going to take a little more than speculation that Allister MAY not be happy before the DUP can be seen as divided as the UUP were. Such rumour mongering should at least focus on a credible DUP candidate. Allister?


  • David


    I am not a DUP member and I’m not claiming to know everything that is going in internally.

    However, I have run my accountancy business in N Antrim for many years and know a lot of long-term DUP members

    It is undeniable that the key people in the DUP are jostling for position to replace Paisley senior.

    Peter Robinson’s power base seems to be Belfast based – he is not a Free Presbyterian – that is an important factor to the N Antrim based membership. He would certainly be the choice of the pragmatic or “moderate” wing.

    Nigel Dodds would currently lead the fundamentalist wing but I disagree with you about Allister. He would have a lot of support in N Antrim and he would like to return to UK politics.

    There was a major effort within the DUP to get Paisley junior to run for Europe so that Allister could go for the North Antrim MP seat. It was only “Big Ian’s” influence that prevented this. Ian junior is not thought of as a political big hitter and I think he’ll learn that his family name is not enough in itself.

    I’m not claiming that the DUP is (or will be) as split as the UUP. However, it is clear that those who favour Nigel Dodds (or Jim Allister) would have issues with the softer line that Peter Robinson would undoubtedly take and vice versa.

  • Brian Boru

    If this is true then good. If not then Plan B will usher in a new era of North-South integration.

  • Nevin

    David, I think it’s time there was an investigation into sleaze here; it might be just as illuminating as the current New Labour fracas.

    How about an inquiry into the relationships between developers, planners and politicians or business partnerships involving paramilitaries, politicians and, say, bankers/solicitors/accountants?

    Do you imagine that many of the political organisations would remain unscathed? I suspect several politicians could expect a knock on their door(s) by members of the Assets Recovery Agency.

    PS Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Why aren’t our journalists providing this public service as they do elsewhere?

  • mnob

    Except Nevin the politicians here havent had any power for a good 30 years.

    They dont make planning/economic/development decisions, the lawyers and civil servants do. They can rant and race and make lots of noise but at the endof the day …

  • Keith M

    The fact that Liam Clark doesn’t even known that Jim Allister isn’t an MLA says everything we need to know about this article. The fact that hacks get paid for this kind of fanciful nonsense, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to take any notice of it.

    The DUP position is well known and hasn’t changed.

    I know that people need something to fill column inches until November, but there are some REAL issues out there if they looked hard enough.

  • memorystick

    What interests me about all this is why Allister is getting so much attention and so much speculation.

    Until the 2004 European election, Allister was nowhere to be seen, now he is supposedly the big hitter and the one to watch – did i lapse into a coma for the decade he really made his name? To me, Allister really doesn’t look like a contender, i was surprised enough that he went for the euro election.

    As for Paisley standing down, thats highly dubious, the only way the big man will be leaving politics is inside a wooden box.

  • Tochais Siorai

    What is the procedure for a DUP leadership election i.e who can vote etc?

  • fair_deal


    “What is the procedure for a DUP leadership election i.e who can vote etc?”

    This is a bit of a grey. AFAIK the initial decision now lies with the Assembly party. However, the Executive has strong powers as regards changing the party’s rules. A party member might know more.

  • Nevin

    mnob, politicians are intimately involved in the planning process, even if they don’t make the final decision. It’s my impression that some politicians lobby on behalf of some developers and it’s my suspicion that they may benefit financially from the process.

  • Nevin

    Keith M, Mervyn Storey MLA seems to be raising his profile in North Antrim. Perhaps he’ll be the Westminster successor to Papa Doc?