Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 17:03 UK

Robinson hints at leaving Commons

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson has hinted that may stand down as an MP

First Minister Peter Robinson has signalled that he may soon step down as MP for East Belfast after 30 years.

It follows his announcement on Thursday that the DUP's nine MPs will have to choose between Westminster and Stormont.

Mr Robinson said his position on the issue was "fairly well known".

He added that he intended to talk to his constituency association about his future but the future of Northern Ireland was more important.

"I believe that the future of Northern Ireland rests very strongly in the development of the Northern Ireland Assembly and I have a commitment to that assembly to make sure that it works," he said.

"What I have said is that I want to talk to my association about my future but the future of individuals is not as important as the future of Northern Ireland and I see the future of Northern Ireland very much tied up with the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly."

The DUP leader said on Thursday he planned to reshuffle his assembly team with all but one of his MPs possibly leaving the Northern Ireland Executive.

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