Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

DUP trio replaced as ‘double jobbing’ is ended

Three DUP MPs have been replaced in their roles as Stormont committee chairs as the party continues to take action on double jobbing.

Strangford representative Iris Robinson, wife of First Minister Peter Robinson, will leave her position as chair of the Health Committee. She will be replaced by South Down MLA Jim Wells.

William McCrea (South Antrim) and David Simpson (Upper Bann) are also stepping down from their positions at the head of the Agriculture and Social Development committees respectively.

North Antrim’s Ian Paisley jnr will take the reins at Agriculture, while up-and-coming Strangford member Simon Hamilton will assume the top seat at the DSD committee.

The changes come in the same week that Mr Robinson reshuffled his ministerial team, with North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds leaving his job at Finance and East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell relinquishing the Culture, Arts and Leisure portfolio.

Jeffrey Donaldson, Lagan Valley MP, also left his junior ministerial post in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

The only Westminster representative, apart from Mr Robinson, who retains a senior position in the administration is East Antrim member Sammy Wilson, who moved from Environment to the Finance department.

Mr Robinson announced the latest changes last night.

With regard to changes to DUP vice chair positions, Peter Weir (North Down) will take the position on the Finance Committee, Michelle McIlveen (Strangford) on Regional Development and Tom Buchanan (West Tyrone) on Employment and Learning Committee. Other DUP chairs and vice chairs will remain unchanged.

“As a party we will continue to work in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland and I look forward to all our new postholders setting about the business of holding ministers from those departments to account,” said Mr Robinson.

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