“I want to congratulate Peter and Nigel on their respective new roles. There is great responsibility in leading the largest political party in Northern Ireland but I have full confidence that the new leadership team will lead the DUP on to many successes in the future.
Having delivered stable government to Northern Ireland I believe the Investment Conference is another great milestone with the ability to deliver long-term economic stability in the Province. As I have already stated, I plan to step down after the Conference in the knowledge that Northern Ireland is facing a more prosperous future than ever before.”
In a joint statement Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds said,
“We are deeply honoured that the DUP Assembly Group and the Executive delegates have trusted us with the responsibility to lead the Party.
We want to pay tribute to Dr Paisley and the sterling service which he has given. The DUP and Northern Ireland owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Paisley for his leadership over many decades. He has a unique ability and it would be foolish for anyone to try and mimic his style of leadership.
The DUP is the lead party at Stormont and with that position there is great responsibility. The Northern Ireland of today is vastly different to the Northern Ireland we knew when we entered politics. It has changed for the better. Just as Northern Ireland has changed so too have the challenges facing unionism. We look forward to advancing the unionist agenda in the future in the knowledge that the Union has never been more secure in decades and unionists are in control of their own destiny.”