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Peter Robinson: Blocking Martin McGuinness as First Minister isn’t a central aim

By David Gordon

Preventing Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister will not be the centrepiece of the DUP's Assembly election campaign next year, Peter Robinson has made clear.

Sinn Fein will be in line for the top post if it emerges from the 2011 poll as the largest Stormont party. That outcome looks less likely in light of this year's General Election results, which showed the TUV threat to the DUP sharply receding.

Asked if the election campaign would end up being dominated by the First Minister issue, Mr Robinson said: “That won't be the kernel of our campaign. I hope our campaigning will be much more positive than that.”

As to whether the DUP would serve in an Executive with a Sinn Fein First Minister, he said: “The Democratic Unionist Party isn't going to go into any election on the basis of what do we do if we fail. We're going to go in positively to the election.

“I don't want republicans to be the largest party in Northern |Ireland. I don't agree with their ideology. I don't agree with many aspects of their social and economic policy.

“From a unionist point of view, do we really want the Queen being snubbed by the First Minister if a republican was there?

“Do you want a republican going round the world saying he speaks for Northern Ireland?”

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