Shuffle up and deal…

LIAM Clarke points to a DUP re-shuffle as Peter Robinson takes over the party leadership: Gregory Campbell, the MP for East Londonderry, and Sammy Wilson, the MP for East Antrim, are tipped for promotion as ministers. If Robinson takes over as first minister on Thursday, his old Finance and Personnel portfolio becomes vacant and will pass to Nigel Dodds, whose enterprise ministry may go to Wilson. Insiders expect that Robinson will also remove Edwin Poots, the Culture minister, thus creating an opening for Campbell. Jim Wells, who fell out of favour with Paisley after he voted against power sharing, is likely to be restored to favour. He may be given a committee chairmanship or a seat on the Policing Board where David Simpson, the MP for Bann, wants to stand down. Others tipped to move up include Mervyn Storey, Nelson McCausland, Jimmy Spratt and Simon Hamilton.

  • Crow

    I would have thought Donaldson was in with a shot at Enterprise with Wilson moving into the OFMDFM junior ministry for comic relief.

  • dodrade

    A bit early to move Donaldson I think, though I thought they were keeping him for a bigger post than Junior minister in the first place.

  • sunningdale1973

    Sammy…. to Enterprise….perhaps the Starship, but God help us if it’s the Department.

    Nigel has actually been quietly effective and could if given time be the first ‘proper’ Minister for Enterprise since the ceasefires.

  • Comrade Stalin


    Behind the court jester thing, Sammy Wilson is a very capable and clever public representative. I think he’ll do the department a lot of good.

  • Mike C

    I reckon Nigel will stay where he is. Personally I think Spratt and McCausland will be going nowhere. Spratt has already recently had a promotion to the Chair of Assembly and executive Review Committee and also holds a Vice-Chair, I feel he has reached his natural level. I believe McCausland is too much of a loose cannon. I certainly believe that Mervyn Storey merits some form of promotion having proven himself extremely capable more so than many of his fellow DUPers. The most obvious change is Campbell to DCAL to replace Poots…. an end to the most uncultured Culture Minister ever and a clear sign of the end of the Maze stadium.

    Talent is thin on the ground. We have the ginger whinger Simon Hamilton, Jim Wells, the aforementioned Mr Storey who are probably there or thereabouts. All this talk of changes…. has Peter Robinson really forgiven the 12 apostles? If it was based on talent and merit would Iris really be Health Minister?

  • Hogan

    I don’t know, but Peter may be more constrained in his appointments than Paisley.

    He may have to balance geography, gender, age/experience and sexuality in his team.

    I agree re. hamilton is talented, but can you imagine if McCrea/Wilson/Simpson/Campbell sees him in a ministerial car before any of them.

    If i was Robinson i’d play a longer game and give a few old hands a quick day in the sun/executive before shuffling them off to the Lords.

    Less chance of ructions in the ranks.

    Mervin is talented and any thing that helps him win the North Antrim nomination is to be welcomed.

  • gram

    >>He may have to balance geography, gender, age/experience and sexuality in his team.<

  • Paul

    Brilliant Gram ! lol

  • Buggerhed

    Interesting theories flying, none more so than Sammy Wilson might actually be competant. The man is a creton, and as corrupt as Roy Beggs before him.

    Campbell is almost certainly in the running for a post. He’s been the voice of discontent about the chuckle brothers, but if a ministerial porfollio is all he needs to put up and shut up then I suppose he’s just as sluttish as the rest of his party.

    Re the 12 apostles stuff, I’m of the belief that the election last year was held so they could be deselected and swept out but I’m suprised Jim Wells voted against power sharing, anyone got any more info. on that?

    With regard to Nelson McCausland with Nigel being a minister (a good one I must admit) it makes sense for him to be a backbencher. Whilst I believe MLAs do F all and all this “hardworking politician” stuff is a load of manure, he can at least be spun as the representative, constituenc man there. Then again they made Willie Hay speaker without thinkin of this tactic.

    Technically it makes sense to leave Arlene where she is and promote Spratt, Weir and possibly Storey. Whilst I hear little from the latter, it now seems he’s licking up for the North Antrim nomination. In real terms Spratt was just a bad day’s shopping, between him and bumptious, arrogant little Christopher Stalford they threw away what’s should have been an easy gain and ensured for the 2nd time the stoops are the biggest party of South Belfast.

    It would be nice to see Peter Weir on the DUP’s ministerial team, which would then contain more Ulster Unionists than Reg’s.

  • Queen’s YU

    Buggerhed/Little Jonathan-

    Without Michael Shilliday and Richard Reid next year Queen’s YU will be screwed.

    Interesting how you attack the DUP but at queens never shy away from attending their social events. Further more your strategy of licking round Chief Esquire Hogg and his string of DUA proteges hasn’t exactly worked for the YU. You should have known better given the way they oused Eddie Hanna.

    Doubtless to say you will have also forged connections with the new TUV branch and will in due course have the YU screwed over by them too.