Arlene Foster is latest former first minister to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth
ARLENE Foster is the latest in a line of former unionist first ministers to be honoured by the queen – with her DUP predecessor Peter Robinson being a notable exception.
One-time Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, who served as Stormont's inauguaral first minister between 1998-2002, received a peerage in 2006. His successor as UUP leader, Reg Empey, initially received a knighthood and later a peerage.
Late DUP founder and inaugural leader Ian Paisley, who served as first minister for a year up to June 2008 alongside Martin McGuinness, became a life peer two years later, taking the title Baron Bannside, opting not to be known as Lord Paisley, as his wife was already in the House of Lords as Baroness Paisley.
It emerged in 2015 that the House of Lords Appointments Commission had blocked a DUP nominee for a peerage, in a process that is often criticised for its lack of transparency.
The unnamed person was one of seven rejected by the commission.
Mr Robinson was not the person nominated.
In 2018, the former leader said he asked the party not to proceed with a nomination for a peerage.
Mr Robinson posted a message on Facebook following what he described as "conflicting stories" in the media.
He said he asked them not to proceed "for a range of reasons".
Other senior unionist figures to receive peerages include Nigel Dodds, William McCrea and the late UUP leader James Molyneaux.