The DUP's Sammy Wilson stands down as an MLA

The DUP's Sammy Wilson, who stood down as an MLA to concentrate on his role at Westminster. Picture by Paul Faith, Press Association

FORMER DUP finance minister Sammy Wilson is to stand down as an assembly member amid warnings about the future of Stormont.

Mr Wilson, who has been an MLA since 2003, will now concentrate on his role as East Antrim MP.

The move comes five years after the DUP pledged to end double jobbing amongst its elected representatives.

East Derry representative Gregory Campbell continues to serve as both an MP and an MLA.

Mr Wilson, who was finance minister in the Executive until August 2013, said he was disappointed to leave "at a time of such uncertainty caused because of the economic illiteracy of both Sinn Fein and the SDLP".

"Their refusal to live up to the commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement casts a shadow over the assembly and is resulting in cuts to vital public services," he said.

Mr Wilson called for reforms at Stormont.

"Whilst at Westminster, I will continue to campaign with my party colleagues for a normal system of government in Northern Ireland," he said.

"The structures need to be reformed to allow efficient decision-making."

DUP leader Peter Robinson said Mr Wilson had made a "huge contribution" to the assembly.

"His role in Parliament will be particularly vital given the very slim majority enjoyed by the current government and the influence this provides for the DUP," he said.

"Whilst Sammy's experience and expertise will be missed in the assembly I look forward to announcing a replacement who will take up their post before the assembly resumes sitting again in September.”


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