Arlene Foster is appointed to the Privy Council

DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster. 

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster MLA has been appointed to the Privy Council.

The council’s historic role was to advise monarchs in carrying out their duties.

It obtains formal approval for measures already ordered by ministers.

The Privy Council is also the court of final appeal for the UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies.

The DUP deputy leader and MP for North Belfast Nigel Dodds said: “Today’s appointment is a testament to the fact that Arlene, as our First Minister and party leader, is held in high esteem not only in Northern Ireland but throughout the United Kingdom.

“It is right and proper that the First Minister of Northern Ireland is a member of the Privy Council, alongside her counterparts in Wales and Scotland.”

Mr Dodds added: “Arlene Foster is recognised as the undisputed leader of unionism in Northern Ireland following the Assembly election in May and today’s elevation again highlights the fact she is recognised throughout the UK as the leader of our province.”

Peter Robinson, her predecessor as DUP leader and First Minister, had been appointed to the post in 2007 – as had Ian Paisley (in 2005), and David Trimble (in 1997).

Appointment to the Privy Council lasts for life.

There are presently several hundred members of the council.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was admitted to its ranks last month.