“any of our Assembly Members elected to Westminster will give up their Assembly seats”

As Mark Devenport noted earlier, launching the DUP election slogan – “Let’s keep Northern Ireland moving forward” – in Belfast today, Peter Robinson declared

“Our party executive last night approved an officer recommendation that will mean any of our Assembly Members elected to Westminster will give up their Assembly seats. However the party believe that it is important, especially at this time, with the prospect of a hung Parliament that the party leader should remain at Westminster.

“While personally I made no secret of the fact that I would have been content to concentrate on the Assembly I understand the access that comes with being a Member of Parliament is important for the leader of unionism, whoever that is. In addition all our MPs and Ministers will stand down from local government.”

Ministers, but not all MLAs. And the next leader of the DUP will be.. An MP? Or an MLA? But has anyone told the NI Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, MP, MLA, Cllr?

“I have made it clear that I believe the jobs that I have at Westminster and the Assembly are complimentary. I don’t believe it is impossible to do both. “Over the last number of years, I have proven that it is possible to serve at Westminster effectively and serve in the Assembly. Therefore I don’t think there is any choice needed.”

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  • Harry J

    But has anyone told the NI Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, MP, MLA, Cllr?…

    I believe sammy is on the DUP executive which ratified the decision so i would take it he knows

  • slug

    Er, shouldn’t that be complementary? Given the expenses I don’t think his services come “complimentary”!

  • joeCanuck

    Tad unfair, Pete. He said that 23 June last year. He may have changed his mind, or had it changed for him.

  • Carsons Cat

    Pete
    “Sammy Wilson MP, MLA, Cllr?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/new-robinson-in-political-realm-14696896.html

    He ain’t a Cllr any more.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks CC.

    I’ve amended accordingly.

  • Carsons Cat

    Pete
    It didn’t really attract much attention, particularly given how other parties made such an issue of him being on the council…. oh wait, that might explain it.

    However, him stepping down from the Council – even if it was semi-reluctantly probably demonstrates that he’ll be doing the same as the other DUP MPs. It was clear he enjoyed the City Council but he ultimately done what had to be done – even if he still privately thought he could/should have carried on.

    He may well still believe that the jobs of an MP and MLA are complimentary – and indeed he might well have an argument. Trouble is that no-one is prepared to listen to the debate of whether people could do the jobs together or not. Like the City Council decision he’ll be a single mandate politician very shortly.

    The SDLP position still baffles me though – did Ritchie use McDonnell’s brazenness in terms of saying quite clearly he wasn’t giving up the Assembly as a stick to beat him with in the leadership election and then promptly do the same herself. As far as I know she’s only said she’ll give up the DSD job if elected, not the Assembly seat itself.

    I suppose she could use the DUP argument of the leader having a benefit in greater access to London – but that one doesn’t really carry much water in a nationalist party.

  • Carsons Cat,

    What’s your own belief? Do you believe a person who is an MLA and Minister in the N.I. Assembly/Executive can also fulfill fully the role of MP for the same constituency?

    “I suppose she could use the DUP argument of the leader having a benefit in greater access to London – but that one doesn’t really carry much water in a nationalist party.”

    I take it you mean the DUP/SF argument?

  • Michaelhenry

    everyone in the d.u.p has to follow this new rule,except the d.u.p leader,do has i say not has i do springs to mind.

  • slug

    To be fair this is a bold move and it opens the way for a new generation of talent to come through the MLA ranks. I think it’s a good move on DUP’s part and I welcome it without qualification.

  • Paul

    I think this is great news I hope other parties follow suit.I know the UUP are but I urge nationalists parties too as well.

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is a shame. Sammy Wilson is a great MP, and probably the best Finance Minister we’ve had yet. I think this double jobbing thing is overcooked, and people should have the opportunity to vote a candidate into two jobs, using their own judgement about whether that is the right thing to do.

    Robinson’s speech reminds me very much of one that fair_deal was asked to write in a “what speech do you think Robinson should give to DUP party conference?” article last year. Sounds like his advice was taken on board.

  • There’s nothing to compliment Sammy Wilson about – in either role.

  • Some questions for Comrade Stalin, the Alliance party member, and now it suddenly emerges, also supporter of Sammy Wilson DUP MP,MLA and Minister.

    Has your recent conversion to being a supporter of Sammy and the DUP anything to do with your wish for your party to steal a ministerial position?

    Do you, and your party, no longer support D’Hondt?

    What do you believe is the best way of appropriating ministerial positions in the N.I. Executive?

  • nick

    Be careful, Lone Ranger-your remarks about Mr. Robinson are ‘tontomount’ to libellous.
    (I’ll get me coat on the way out…)

  • slug

    There is no doubt Sammy Wilson is a great politician and someone who stands out as a great communicator. That said I think the House of Commons will be better off for his presence. Maybe if the DUP enter a coalition at Westminster he can be a Minister at UK level.

  • “And the next leader of the DUP will be”

    Presumably the timing could be affected by further revelations in the media. Election hype can have unforeseen effects.

  • nick

    ‘sorry nick but if i quote from mthe dup manifesto then how can it be libelous? but one thing there manifesto is incredulous’

    Eh? You’re not the sharpest shooter in the Wild West, are you, Lone Ranger?

  • tonto

    The lone ranger

    You can’t be quoting from the 2006 DUP manifesto because there was no such document as there was no election in 2006.

  • Bob Wilson

    LOL Poor, poor Peter. First he’s standing down then he’s not. One second their putting an end to double jobbing then they’re not.
    Then Cameron says he’ll banned it – then Peter U turns again!

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    I’ve had to loosen off the registration system because it was periodically blocking good commenters until I can find the means to get it fixed…

  • Alan

    Time to bite the bullet and allow speaking rights for Ministers from devolved Assemblies at Westminster. It is the only way to resolve these questions, how else can the sovereignty of the devolved parliaments be recognised at Westminster?

    Should we expect a future NI Finance Minister to catch the budget debate from the Strangers’ Gallery?

    No need for oaths or forelock touching, but Ministers there as of right

  • the lone ranger

    be carefull villager and bryan s according to nick you may be in line for a libelous action.

  • Mick Fealty

    No worries Brian, if anyone is going to get involved in a nasty piece of litigation, I will make it my business to make sure you are involved directly.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Some questions for Comrade Stalin, the Alliance party member, and now it suddenly emerges, also supporter of Sammy Wilson DUP MP,MLA and Minister.

    I didn’t say I was a “supporter” but I have a very high opinion of his political and administrative skills and the work that he puts in for his constituency.

    Has your recent conversion to being a supporter of Sammy and the DUP anything to do with your wish for your party to steal a ministerial position?

    Oh my god, the secret’s out. You’re absolutely right. This is how the conversation went :

    David Ford : hello Peter. Can you give us the justice ministry job ? Please please ? We’ll be your best friends ?

    Peter Robinson : well, there are other people who we’d much prefer to have the job. Tell you what, we’ll let you have it, on the condition that you kiss arse in public and talk about how great we are.

    David Ford : sure thing.

    Peter Robinson : great. Here’s the keys to the new justice minister’s office. I won’t even bother asking Sinn Fein, even though we need their support I know they’ll do what I tell them.

    I mean, seriously. What sort of a balloon are you to think that this is how things work ? Alliance are in line for the job because the DUP and SF, together, don’t want either the UUP or SDLP to get it. Alliance’s acceptance of the job is a concession to the DUP and SF; it is a favour. It solves them both a lot of problems. It’s not necessary for Alliance to tickle their egos in public.

    Do you, and your party, no longer support D’Hondt?

    Alliance has never supported d’Hondt and vigorously resisted it, insofar as we could, during the GFA talks process. It’s a terrible way to appoint a government. Unfortunately the SDLP and Ulster Unionists, who are now both being discriminated against because of it, were insistent.

    What do you believe is the best way of appropriating ministerial positions in the N.I. Executive?

    STV and weighted majorities.