Northern Ireland news

Storey to consider his family before accepting any offer to be first minister

Edwin Poots (left) with North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey outside DUP headquarters in Belfast before Mr Poots was announced as DUP leader on Friday. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association
Rebecca Black, PA

A DUP MLA mooted for a possible first minister appointment has said he will consider the impact on his family before accepting any offer.

Mervyn Storey and party colleagues Paul Givan, Paul Frew, Paula Bradley and Christopher Stalford, are thought to be among the frontrunners for Northern Ireland’s top political post.

Incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots has indicated he will appoint a colleague to allow himself to focus on leading the party.

Mr Storey insisted he is not seeking an appointment.

“I can remember when I was appointed by Peter Robinson to be minister of the department for social development, when he said he was delighted to tell me that he was appointing me to that post.

“I famously said to him ‘you can’t do that’, to which he replied, ‘I can because I am your party leader and I am the first minister’,” he said.

“I think people know that I have never sought after or gone after any position.

“I have been happy to serve in the positions that have come my way, but I have family that are very precious to me, I have a life that I want to live and if there are decisions that we have to make in the next number of days, we will make them in the light of those priorities and in light of saying what we believe is right for us.

“That may sound very personal in terms of all of this, but I think that people maybe sometimes don’t fully grasp the enormity of a ministerial role of whatever capacity, it brings a huge change to your life and huge responsibilities, because you are no longer a citizen in the same way as everyone else, you are there to serve the people of Northern Ireland and that is a huge responsibility.”

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Northern Ireland news