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Foster hails leadership of Queen on her first official engagement

By Michael McHugh

Published 13/01/2016

New First Minister Arlene Foster meets pupils Dylan McKinstry and Casey Richardson at Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn yesterday; right, with Paul Givan MLA
New First Minister Arlene Foster meets pupils Dylan McKinstry and Casey Richardson at Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn yesterday; right, with Paul Givan MLA
New First Minister Arlene Foster meets pupils at Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn yesterday
New First Minister Arlene Foster with Paul Givan MLA

Arlene Foster lauded the Queen as a "tremendous leader" during a visit to a school for her first engagement as First Minister.

She praised the monarch's Christian faith and dedication to duty during a visit to Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn.

The DUP leader toured the school and answered some of its more than 600 pupils' questions during an informal start to her new job.

She said the Queen's adherence to duty and faith was a role model for all. "She is a tremendous leader," Mrs Foster added.

When a child asked if the Queen was as small as she looked, Mrs Foster, who has met the monarch several times, replied: "She is quite tiny but her husband is very tall."

Mrs Foster also told how history was one her favourite subjects and school and described how she got into politics and joined the Young Unionists while studying law at Queen's University.

The new First Minister said she enjoyed nothing more than helping people and getting things done, adding that her priorities were ensuring every boy and girl had an opportunity for a good education, having one single transfer test and improving the health service through better use of technology.

She told the children: "Abraham Lincoln said the best way to protect your future is to create it. I hope that you create a very positive future for yourselves and not rely on others to do it."

Pond Park Primary, a modern and sprawling building in Lisburn, was given outstanding marks for the quality of education it offers during a recent inspection.

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