Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 10:01 UK

Wilson defends 'triple jobbing'

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson said he didn't see a problem with three posts.

The new finance minster Sammy Wilson has defended his right to hold down three political jobs at the same time.

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson said all ministers in the Executive would have to make a choice about which institution to serve.

But Mr Wilson - a Belfast city councillor, an MP and a minister - said this must be a gradual change.

"You can't simply, at one particular time without preparation or warning cut everyone from doing two jobs," he said.

"I have made it clear that I believe the jobs that I have at Westminster and the Assembly are complimentary. I don't believe it is impossible to do both.

"Over the last number of years, I have proven that it is possible to serve at Westminster effectively and serve in the Assembly. Therefore I don't think there is any choice needed."

Mr Wilson said the "double jobbing" story was a "media thing".

"If David Cameron is really serious about doing away with double jobbing, he is going to have to get rid of half of his cabinet or else they are gong to have to get rid of half their jobs," he said.

He said that once legislation was in place which would avoid costly by-elections, then he and a number of other DUP councillors would be resigning from their council posts.

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