Foster ousting: ‘My Ian would not have done things this way’ says Paisley widow

The widow of Ian Paisley has told the News Letter her late husband would not have approved of the way Arlene Foster was deposed.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 7:00 am
Baroness Paisley lost her husband in 2014

Baroness Eileen Paisley made her comments after being asked about her thoughts on the leadership contest.

She began by making clear she has “nothing to do with the party at all” any more.

But she went on to say that the manner in which Mrs Foster was ousted “certainly would not have happened under my husband’s leadership”.

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“He wouldn’t have stood for anybody being just put out,” she said.

“Whenever you’re hurt yourself, you do feel sympathy for other people in the same position.”

Baroness Paisley was referring to the departure of Rev Paisley from his own posts in 2008.

During that year he ceased to be First Minister, DUP leader and also moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church which he had founded.

The Baroness described her husband as “outstanding in everything he did – a man apart,” adding: “I don’t think it’s a good way to treat anybody.

“I don’t think she [Mrs Foster] should have been treated the way she was.”

She continued: “I wish Edwin all the best. I hope he does well. And I hope he will be a good leader of the party; I’ve got no reason to think he won’t be. But I just hope and pray that he will be, for his own sake, and the sake of the country.”

Just last week her son, Ian Paisley MP, had said: “If anyone in this party can talk about difficulty, it’s me. You saw what happened to my dad, it killed my father.

“I know it hurts and leadership transfer hurts, but you know something, we have to get over that, keep on working as a party and we will make it work for our country.”

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Alistair Bushe