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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Four new unionist peers appointed
David Trimble
David Trimble is to become a life peer
Former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and DUP leader Ian Paisley's wife Eileen are to be appointed to the House of Lords on Tuesday.

They are to be joined by two other DUP politicians as working peers.

In future, Mrs Paisley is expected to be known as Baroness Paisley of St George's after the ward which elected her to Belfast City Council in 1967.

The DUP Lord Mayor of Belfast, Wallace Browne, and the party's chairman Maurice Morrow, also become life peers.

The three DUP peers will be the first from their party to enter the House of Lords.

On Tuesday, Mrs Paisley admitted her new title would "take a bit of getting used to".

"I just tell people to call me Eileen, I'm not a bit fussed about titles. I don't expect anyone who knows me will call me anything else only by my Christian name," she said.

She said issues which interested her included the welfare of old people, of women and children, education and hospitals.

Mr Morrow said he was pleased that the DUP had been recognised and given its rightful place in the House of Lords.

Eileen and Ian Paisley
Eileen Paisley celebrates her husband's European election victory

"The party has had representation at Westminster for well over 30 years," he said.

"To date, it has been refused to be recognised in the way that other parties have been recognised. I welcome the fact this is now going to change and we will be allowed a voice in the House of Lords."

The list of party political "working peers" had been delayed after an independent appointments commission blocked the appointment of four potential peers who had donated or lent money to the Labour Party.

The four later withdrew their nominations. The new peers were put forward by party leaders.

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said his party colleagues deserved the honour.

"On behalf of the party, I warmly welcome the announcement that Eileen, Maurice and Wallace are to become life peers.

"They have worked tirelessly over many years for the good of the people of Northern Ireland."

However, Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin said the DUP should now accept power-sharing institutions in order to "exercise real power and make real decisions".

"It says much about the attitude of the DUP that they have spent their time lobbying for what will be seen as privileges for their own members rather than working with the rest of the parties in re-establishing the political institutions to tackle issues of real concern to communities," he said.

DUP is set to join ranks of Lords
14 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland

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