Baroness Paisley has urged the DUP to abandon its in-out ministerial policy and has echoed Ulster Unionist criticism of the tactic as “hokey cokey government”.
The widow of DUP founder Ian Paisley also said in relation to Peter Robinson’s leadership of the party that it has to “do something”.
Yesterday there were indications from various DUP sources that the party is preparing to end its controversial in-out approach to the Executive next week if – as expected – the report into paramilitary activity largely echoes the comments of the Chief Constable last month.
On Thursday night, Arlene Foster told BBC programme The View: “If we believe there has been substantial progress in relation to it, then we will seriously consider making that move [returning to government].”
When asked by the Belfast Telegraph whether Mr Robinson should resign, Baroness Paisley said: “That’s not a matter for me. It’s up to the party but they clearly have to do something. The present situation can’t continue, it needs sorting out. I can’t see any reason for this in-out, hokey cokey government. It’s not good for the DUP and it’s not good for the people.”
Baroness Paisley also hit out at Mr Robinson for what she said was a failure to contact her in the wake of her husband’s death last year. She said: ”They were colleagues together for almost four decades. But after Ian’s death, there was no phone call, no card or no letter from Peter Robinson. Nothing.
“I found it very hurtful. But if that’s the way Peter wants it to be, it’s no loss to me. I think it pathetic when a person can’t rise above things and even make a gesture in such a situation. I invited Peter to my husband’s memorial service last year out of politeness.
“Peter sent Ian [junior] a text after Ian died and that was it. There was no other acknowledgement to our family.”
The DUP declined to comment on Baroness Paisley’s criticisms.
Earlier this week Baroness Paisley told the News Letter that if her late husband was still in post Stormont would not be in its current state.