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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 16:48 GMT
Reaction to Paisley Jnr resignation
The DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr has tendered his resignation as a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly to his first minister father.

Here is some of the reaction to the move, which came after a period of sustained pressure over his links to a property developer.

IAN PAISLEY JR, DUP NORTH ANTRIM MLA

Ian Paisley Jr has stepped down as a junior minister
Ian Paisley Jr has resigned from the executive
"With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the first minister (Ian Paisley Snr) of my intention to resign from ministerial office.

"I can't express strongly enough that I am not going because of some hidden or some revealed wrongdoing on my part.

"The past 10 months have not been without controversy. Personal criticism, unfounded allegations, innuendo and attacks on me personally, followed by Ombudsman's reports that have cleared me - this relentless period of criticism by those who have decided on this path has been unceasing.

"The criticism has been a distraction and has got in the way of the activities of this government and importantly it has gotten in the way of the activities of my political party."

PETER ROBINSON, DUP DEPUTY LEADER

"Recent media coverage in relation to Ian Paisley Jnr has acted as a distraction from the important business of the Executive.

"Today I believe Ian Paisley Jnr has taken the right decision for the right reason.

"In drawing this particular chapter to a close, I think it is important to record that in the last 10 months Ian Paisley Jnr has made a significant contribution to both the office of the first and deputy first minister and to the work of the wider Executive in often difficult personal circumstances."

DAITHI MCKAY, SINN FEIN ASSEMBLY MEMBER

"This is certainly not the end of it for Ian Paisley Jnr.

"There are still a number of questions that he needs to answer in relation to the Giant's Causeway and other developments.

"Obviously Paisley Jnr has recognised that it is now time to resign from his position as a junior minister."

DECLAN O'LOAN, SDLP ASSEMBLY MEMBER

"It is clear that within his party the embarrassment has become too great and he had to go.

"The spotlight now switches on to Ian Paisley Senior.

"I think the public will be saying one Paisley has gone, when is the other going to go?"

SHAUN WOODWARD, NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY

"On the public front it is obviously a matter for the DUP and obviously a matter for the Executive and Assembly.

"But on a private front I think one also has to acknowledge that, for the Paisley family, it is a very difficult time.

"These matters are always very, very hard and for them, a family who has given a huge amount to Northern Ireland, my thoughts are also with them."

DAVID FORD, ALLIANCE PARTY LEADER

"Ian Paisley Jnr's behaviour has severely damaged the credibility of the Executive.

"However, the questions being asked relate to his behaviour as an MLA.

"This would suggest he must resign as a MLA too."

JIM ALLISTER, TRADITIONAL UNIONIST VOICE LEADER

"The fundamental problem is... particularly the policy of having IRA/Sinn Fein at the heart of government. It is that policy which needs to be abandoned.

"Thus even when Ian Paisley Senior follows Junior in exiting the scene, unless the policy is reversed, the DUP's decline will continue."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Ian Paisley Junior announcing his resignation



SEE ALSO
Paisley Jnr resigns as minister
18 Feb 08 |  Northern Ireland
Call for Paisley land deal probe
10 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland
Paisley 'lobbied for land deal'
06 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland



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