First Minister to step down as head of church

Despite predictions that he would be re-elected unopposed and the quotes from “well-placed” sources in this report – “We are not expecting anything untoward”, the outcome of last night’s five hour meeting of church elders and ministers of the Free Presbyterian Church was an unexpected statement

“It was agreed by an overwhelming majority of members that all presbytery offices remain as at present for the remainder of this calendar year. In January all offices will be vacated. Dr Paisley has indicated that he will not be standing for the office of moderator of presbytery.”

Officially it’s about not splitting the church.. But we already know what the First Minister thinks about those sceptics.. and what the Deputy First Minister thinks about them too.. Adds From the Irish Times report

One insider said: “It became very obvious that if he did stand he would lose and in those circumstances he pleaded with them not to humiliate him and just let it run to the end of the year and just walk away.”