Sammy Wilson steps down from the Assembly

One of our most colourful MLAs has stepped down from the Assembly. Former Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson has resigned as an MLA for East Antrim in order to concentrate on Westminster.

Speaking about his decision he said;

Having served as Finance Minister for four years it is deeply disappointing that I leave the Assembly at a time of such uncertainty caused because of the economic illiteracy of both Sinn Fein and the SDLP. Their refusal to live up to the commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement casts a shadow over the Assembly and is resulting in cuts to vital public services.

Devolution is good for Northern Ireland and brings government closer to the electorate.  I have always supported local people making local decisions.  Whilst at Westminster, I will continue to campaign with my party colleagues for a normal system of government in Northern Ireland. The structures need to be reformed to allow efficient decision-making.

The First Minister was full of praise;

Sammy has made a huge contribution to the Northern Ireland Assembly, in his role as a constituency representative as well as both a Committee Chair and Minister. He will continue to serve the people of East Antrim as their Member of Parliament.  His role in Parliament will be particularly vital given the very slim majority enjoyed by the current government and the influence this provides for the DUP.

Whilst Sammy’s experience and expertise will be missed in the Assembly I look forward to announcing a replacement who will take up their post before the Assembly resumes sitting again in September

A successor hasn’t been selected yet, but I would expect rising star Cllr Gordon Lyons to be Wilsons successor. Lyons was a former aide to Wilson and current works in the DUP policy unit.

This leaves just Gregory Campbell as the only double jobber left in the Assembly

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  • steve white

    he had to do it a some point not so much a decision, no more double jobbing, co-opt your replacement in a year before elections, a classic

  • Dan

    Now he’ll have no excuse if he doesn’t radically improve his pisspoor voting record in the Commons…..not that double jobbing was an acceptable reason in the first place.

  • chrisjones2

    Errr.. what decision?

    Didn’t he have to go because double jobbing is being banned?

  • Redstar2014

    The description ” colourful politician” sure can cover a multitude of attributes…….

  • kalista63

    Wonder what corker they’re going to bring in.

  • submariner

    I take it Flegory will also be standing down.I wonder what Nolan will do for soundbites now.

  • Granni Trixie

    I used to enjoy SW more amusing side. I also had some sympathy when he was plastered naked in Sunday papers as an invasion of privacy (though I acknowledge it showed up the hypocrisy of DUP). However I lost any good feeling towards him when I saw his bully boy tactics at a Stormint committee towards a DUP woman councillor. Though I don’t remember her name the impression remains.

  • npbinni

    A sinking ship called Stormont comes to mind.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Or a multitude of sins.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Jenny Palmer. In fairness to Sammy, though, I think he’d have treated her the same if she’d been a man. It’s the DUP way.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Nothing to see here.

    In an interview a couple of years ago, Sammy said that in a choice between the backbenches of the assembly and the backbenches of Westminster, he’d pick Westminster. He more or less said that he had little interest in being in the assembly if he was not part of the Executive.

    The other factor is that with Westminster you can’t simply co-opt someone else into your seat. If there was a by-election the DUP would win it hands down; but nobody needs all that hassle months after the General.

    The time has now come for Sammy to make his choice, as it has for Gregory Campbell, and give some time for their replacements to bed in before.

  • Jag

    He could have given up his £67k (plus generous expenses and benefits) MP role, rather than his £54k (plus less generous expenses and benefits) MLA position. I wonder how long that decision took…..

  • Jag

    No, it’s the Sammy-Wilson way, remember his “thug” comment to Jimbo which quite patently was designed to lead to a suspension of the committee proceedings in which Jimbo was asking some very difficult questions about the Housing Executive. If Sammy was a politician down south, he’s be the epitome of the “cute hoor”.

  • Jag

    Funny, my permanent recollection of him will be anaemically pale, lilly white you could say; and that image I can’t get out of my head, especially when I’m parking up the push-bike!

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The DUP are all like that. You heard Gavin Robinson’s speech when he was elected. And his mentor, Peter’s “dry your eyes” comment. This is how they behave. Attempt to harm their interests and they circle the wagons and play dirty.