Arlene Foster takes over as First Minister of the NI Assembly

Arlene Foster takes over as First Minister of the NI Assembly

IT has been a changing of the guard at Stormont today.

Peter Robinson MLA has officially stepped down as First Minister of the Assembly.

DUP party colleague and Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster has now taken over the reins, sharing power with Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness.

Speaking ahead of taking over the reins, Mrs Foster said she has “enormous political shoes to fill”.

She describes it as a “daunting task” to follow Mr Robinson in both his roles as DUP leader and first minister.

Said Mrs Foster: “When the history of this time comes to be written, his leadership will define this period.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he wanted to show a “deep appreciation” for the leadership of Peter Robinson as first minister as he prepares to hand over the office of first minister to Arlene Foster.

He added: “I had a friendship with Ian Paisley until the day he died, and I have no doubt I will have a friendship with Peter Robinson that will exist until the day we both die.”

TUV leader Jim Allister told the Assembly Peter Robinson had left behind a “legacy of terrorists in government” and a “dysfunctional” system.

However, he ended his statement by saying he wishes Peter Robinson and his family “many years of happy and healthy retirement”.

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