DUP MPs to become privy councillors

Two Democratic Unionist MPs are to join Northern First Minister Ian Paisley as members of the Privy Council, it was announced today.

Two Democratic Unionist MPs are to join Northern First Minister Ian Paisley as members of the Privy Council, it was announced today.

The party's deputy leader Peter Robinson and the Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson will be able to use the title The Right Honourable and be able to take part in meetings of the council.

The appointments were welcomed by Mr Paisley who said he was delighted they were joining him on the Council.

"Our Privy Councillors, together with the DUP Police Board members, will adopt a monitoring role over all security and intelligence matters over the coming months and years,'' the North Antrim MP said.

Mr Robinson was yesterday appointed the new Stormont Finance and Personnel Minister and will have a major say over the budget of the new power sharing administration.

He has been the MP for East Belfast since 1979 when he was also made deputy leader of the DUP.

He previously served as the Regional Development Minister in the Stormont power sharing government which operated between 1999 and 2002.

Mr Donaldson has been an MP since 1997.

A former member of the Ulster Unionists, he defected to the DUP after the 2003 Assembly Election and after a bitter battle with former UUP leader Lord Trimble over party policy.

He was a former assistant to the Ulster Unionist MP Enoch Powell and was a protege of former UUP leader Lord Molyneaux.

Today, Mr Donaldson was also appointed chairman of the Institutional Review Committee in the Assembly.

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