Robinson Tweets out the old and Tweets in the news… [updated]

The DUP leader has been tweeting his long flagged cabinet reshuffle…

In summary

  • Edwin Poots (health minister) replaced by Jim Wells
  • Nelson McCausland (social development minister) replaced by Mervyn Storey
  • Mervyn Storey (education committee chair) replaced by Michelle McIlveen
  • Jimmy Spratt (regional development chair) replaced by Trevor Clarke
  • Paul Givan (justice committee chair) replaced by Alastair Ross
  • Jim Wells (health committee vice chair) replaced by Paula Bradley

And there’s more!

  • New agriculture chair – William Irwin
  • New culture chair – Nelson McCausland (a previous DCAL minister)
  • New culture vice chair – Gordon Dunne (DUP holds both the chair and vice chair)


  • Brenda Hale replaces Alastair Ross on the Policing Board
  • Ian McCrea will be Arlene Foster’s Assembly private secretary in DETI

Will there be a role for Edwin Poots?
– – –

And changes to the party’s committee chairs…

  • New Yorker

    Why did it take so long?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Reluctant as I am to compare a pigmy with a great statesman;

    “”I did feel strongly Macmillan was losing his grip on public opinion and the party in general,” said Conservative peer Lord Hailsham, speaking in 1989.”The party had lost its sense of direction and conviction and this was due to neglect from the centre.”

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Peter Robinson @DUPleader – Arlene Foster MLA will be the new leader of the DUP……more to follow.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t see much that’s actually really newsworthy here. The DUP is as centralized as Sinn Féin is and I doubt that any DUP ministers make any big decisions without clearing it all with the party leadership. This is just a change of faces; nothing will change in terms of policy, solving problems or anything else.

    At most I suspect Robinson is asserting his authority and perhaps preparing the ground in expectation of an election.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Where did I put my microscope……

  • Gopher

    For once I have to agree with you Comrade, two dinosaur denying dullards in suits are replaced by two dinosaur denying dullards in suits. There is absolutely no news here except the bankruptcy of Northern Irish politics. Peter as you said has cleared the decks for a future election. Because the DUP has a predator in Allister it has to stay healthy, it will take a while for Jim to build up a head of steam and start disassembling the two new boys while Poots and McCausland were penalty kicks every time he stood up. Cant stand Allister but I got to hand it to him he is the only man who lands a punch. Two ministers and two special advisors not a bad bag for a one man show

  • Mister_Joe

    What the heavens is going on? There is a strong rumour that our esteemed SOS is going to call a legal inquiry into marches at Ardoyne. Has the woman lost the run of herself? If she does, it will be a tremendous slap in the face to her own Government’s Parades Commission, essentially invalidating them and making them redundant.. I would expect resignations from among them. In addition, she will be returning us to the conditions that existed 45 years ago when “counter-demonstrations” by Paisley’s followers were greatly favoured by the then Minister of Home Affairs, William Craig, over those demanding equal rights. I don’t have much hair left to tear out, unfortunately..

  • Gopher

    I respect the subject is dear to your heart Joe but this thread is kinda about the DUP reshuffle, Im sure there will be several threads on it and I could probably write the opening post and comments of all of them from memory.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Foster is unlikely to be the next leader.

    She may be the next First Minister, though.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Eamonn Mallie is speculating, interestingly, on what kind of bloc could develop between Sammy Wilson, Edwin Poots, Ian Paisley Jnr and Paul Givan and whether there is a party leadership question here.

    Of all the people at the top level in the DUP who have held ministerial roles, Edwin Poots appears to me to be the one potential leader who would attract support from across the party, with a foot in both the christian fundamentalist and the political pragmatist camps.

    Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley Jnr are of course very much on the side of the pragmatists. But, back in the day, there used to be talk of resentment in the party against Ian Paisley Jnr who was perceived to have been rising fast on his father’s coattails. In one particular occasion IPJ was publicly slapped down by Sammy Wilson for interfering (apparently at the behest of his father) in an internal matter in the DUP grouping on Belfast City Council. Further, I am not sure whether, with his father now very much gone, if he has a power base within the party to build on. They need him to keep North Antrim in DUP hands but that’s all.

    I cannot see Arlene Foster being the party leader as (a) a woman, (b) an ex-UUP and (c) not a born again Christian. But what certainly seems likely is Edwin taking over as leader with Arlene acting as First Minister, and they may ally up with Sammy Wilson who would want a ministerial job, possibly Finance, again.

    Nigel Dodds seems to have no authority or status in the party at all and may be perceived as a risk given the state of his majority in North Belfast. If he loses his Westminster seat I’d expect him to step down as deputy leader – it’s well known that Dodds isn’t interested in the Assembly or ministerial power there. Since he loves hobnobbing with the Tory right they might request a peerage for him.

    But of course this is all speculation – who knows what will happen.

  • Jag

    I think the appointments are transformative and mean the Assembly and its institutions are no longer not fit for purpose.

    Separately, breaking news, Radio Face Nolan has just weaseled a statement out of Edwin Poots that Peter Robinson is to leave as first minister (and leader?) before the Assembly elections in 2016.

  • streetlegal

    This reshuffle was really intended as a purge of the Doddomites. So Poots, McCausland and Givan have been ruthlessly axed. Robinson has found some of his old belligerence and has chosen to send a message to ‘the mighty Dodds’ in the most direct manner. Peter’s message to Nigel is – ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!’

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Now that Peter’s reputation as a man of the greatest financial integrity has (anecdotally) been cleared by the Standards and Privileges Report he will be able to employ the skills he has developed during his experience as a World Statesman and the Leader of a powerful country in the private sector. Let us hope, that, like Tony Blair and others, his selfless work over these long and difficult years are rewarded fittingly. Perhaps he could employ his undoubted charisma and dazzling oratorical skills in a world lecture tour in order to share his insights about co-operative government with those less fortunate. No one could begrudge him the pleasure of standing down from thankless and onerous duties and thereby opening the way for advancement to high office for the very best of the great plethora of political talent the DUP can field.

    Like his friend and mentor, Baron Bannside, Peter should, most fittingly, find his name on the New Years honours list, as Viscount Gransha perhaps?

  • Morpheus

    As in the OTR ‘saga’ it’s another proverbial dummy-tit from the SoS Joe.

    Probably the greatest threat to the people of NI and they roll over to get their bellies tickled but when it comes to a parade they fight tooth and nail, demanding this and demanding that.

  • TheAntrimScribe

    Tuesday 16th September, Mervyn Storey, chair of the Education Committee is on Radio Ulster supporting home education on the grounds of religious freedom, then 2 hours later the top story on BBC News NI is of a local girl who was home educated and seriously neglected. A week later Mervyn is removed from the Education Committee.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have no problem with the proposals for an inquiry into marching at Ardoyne, and I don’t think nationalists should either.

    I can’t conceive of how any inquiry could possibly find fault with the decisions the Parades Commission have taken. It’s more likely than not that the inquiry will recommend no reforms or, at most, a handful of minor tinkerings with Parades Commission procedures. This is very much a case of unionists being careful what they wish for – having strongly pushed for an inquiry it will make them look bad if they reject the outcome. (perhaps SF are aware of this)