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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
DUP is set to join ranks of Lords
Peers in House of Lords
The DUP is set to join the ermine ranks of the Lords
Ian Paisley's DUP is about to get its first life peers in the House of Lords, the BBC has learned.

The party is expected to get three seats with Eileen Paisley, wife of the party leader, and Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace Brown among them.

Since becoming the largest party, the DUP has made it clear it is entitled to seats in the upper chamber.

Party chairman Maurice Morrow is the third possible DUP member to be honoured with a peerage.

In the unlikely event that a fourth seat goes to the DUP it would be filled by Foyle MLA William Hay.

The proposed elevation of former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble to the House of Lords is also set to be confirmed.

He has had to wait until the DUP's allocation was agreed.

Eileen Paisley was first elected to Belfast City Council in 1967, almost three years before her husband's first success at the polls.

Mr Paisley is now expected to be made a privy councillor, an honour usually given to the leader of the largest local party.

However, the party's East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said that offering the party more seats on the Policing Board or Westminster will not lead to a return of devolution without other concerns being addressed.

"If we were to be offered five times the number we are likely to get of members of the House of Lords, the underlying issues remain to be addressed," he said.

Among the issues the DUP has raised is a generous severance and training package for Royal Irish Regiment soldiers affected by demilitarisation plans which will axe its three Northern Ireland based battalions.

It also wants changes to the Parades Commission and a financial package to revitalise working-class Protestant neighbourhoods.

Parties seek presents from Number 10
08 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland

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