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#First Minister

# first-minister - Monday 9 March, 2020

Alex Salmond trial over sexual assault accusations due to begin today

The former first minister of Scotland is facing 14 charges of alleged offences against 10 women.

# first-minister - Friday 13 January, 2017

Police investigating 'beheading' threats made against Arlene Foster

The threats have been condemned by former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

# first-minister - Tuesday 10 January, 2017

McGuinness resignation: The latest chapter in a remarkable political career

Martin McGuinness’s career to date has seen some surprising twists.

# first-minister - Tuesday 13 December, 2016

Pressure mounts on North's First Minister to resign after energy scheme scandal

The flawed Renewable Heat Incentive scheme cost the Northern Irish taxpayer around £400 million.

# first-minister - Monday 11 January, 2016

'Her second most important job': One politician's take on the North's first female leader

Edwin Poots has found himself in bother after his congratulatory speech.

# first-minister - Sunday 20 September, 2015

DUP leader Peter Robinson has been admitted to hospital

His party says it’s “a precautionary measure”.

# first-minister - Thursday 27 February, 2014

Cameron orders review of secret IRA deal after Peter Robinson’s resignation threat

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to be recalled tomorrow to discuss Peter Robinson’s concerns about protection for IRA suspects.

# first-minister - Thursday 13 December, 2012

Man charged over death threats to Peter Robinson

The 34-year-old man is alleged to have made the threat by phone on Wednesday as tensions remained high in Northern Ireland.

# first-minister - Monday 1 October, 2012

Grand Secretary of Orange Order calls image 'outrageous and unacceptable'

Drew Nelson was responding to a photograph which appeared to show a bandsman urinating outside a Catholic church during Saturday’s marches.

# first-minister - Friday 6 August, 2010

GERRY ADAMS has unusually found himself with the same opinion as Unionist leader Ian Paisley – believing that there is no reason why Northern Ireland shouldn’t have a Sinn Féin representative as First Minister.

The Sinn Féin president, in an opinion piece for the traditionally unionist News Letter newspaper, said unionists were unduly ‘unnerved’ about the possibility of Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister.

The potential appointment of McGuinness has been mooted after opinion polls north of the border suggested that Sinn Féin would emerge as the largest party in the northern assembly after the elections next May.

Pointing out that Northern Ireland is run by a diarchy, he wrote:

[The] exaggerated hype around the possibility of Martin McGuinness becoming first minister is about unnerving unionists. They want a return to unionist dominance. It’s not going to happen. Those days are gone.

And anyway the deputy first minister has exactly the same authority as the first minister. So, would most unionists really be worried about Martin becoming first minister?

The evidence suggests not. Martin has carried out its responsibilities in an exemplary fashion and has demonstrated the capacity to be a first or deputy first minister for everyone.

The views echo those of DUP founder and former First Minister Ian Paisley, who said he would accept “the will of the people” if they returned Sinn Féin with the largest contingent to Stormont.

“For many years I had to accept that the [DUP] was not the majority party,” he wrote in a similar piece.

“But, I worked at it and when I left off the leadership I left my party as having the largest mandate in Europe, the largest mandate in Westminster and the largest mandate in Stormont.

“Sinn Fein didn’t become the majority party on my watch.”