The unanimous decision by the
Assembly party’s executive committee follows the unanimous decision of the party executive Assembly group. So, it’s offical, albeit not until early June, Peter Robison is the new leader of the DUP and the next First Minister.
Mr Robinson and Mr Dodds, in a joint statement, said they were “deeply honoured” to be given the responsibility to lead the party. “We want to pay tribute to Dr Paisley and the stirling service which he has given,” they said. “The DUP and Northern Ireland owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Paisley for his leadership over many decades. He has a unique ability and it would be foolish for anyone to try and mimic his style of leadership.”
Adds More from the First Minister designate hereQuotes from Peter Robinson in the Belfast Telegraph
“I made one request of the executive members tonight and that was, when some months or years down the road they want to make a judgment on the leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party that will follow Ian Paisley, that they compare it to (UUP leader Reg Empey) and all the others rather than comparing it to Ian Paisley. On that score I think we will come out ahead. But it is a very difficult, almost frightening prospect to follow the leadership of someone of such a mighty standing in the community, someone who is a legend within the unionist community.
“It is up to Nigel (Dodds) and I to give leadership along with our colleagues in the Assembly to the party and to the unionist community to make it clear we are fighting for the unionist agenda, we will oppose republicans at every possible opportunity we have.”