Wilson rules himself out of DUP leadership contest

PressEye photo: Arlene Foster is the only contender at present for the DUP leadership, after Nigel Dodds ruled himself out and Sammy Wilson likewise.
PressEye photo: Arlene Foster is the only contender at present for the DUP leadership, after Nigel Dodds ruled himself out and Sammy Wilson likewise.

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson has ruled himself out of the running to become party leader – and endorsed Nigel Dodds.

The East Antrim MP admitted he had considered the position but decided against it.

Last month, Mr Robinson confirmed that his seven-year term as DUP leader and first minister was coming to an end.

Mr Wilson, 62, told the BBC: “My hat won’t be in the ring – indeed I’ve already told Nigel Dodds that he’s the natural successor to Peter Robinson.”

Speaking at Westminster, Mr Wilson said: “He has served as deputy for a long time, he has good standing in the party, he represents the traditional views within the party and he’ll have my full support when he puts his name forward.”

The MP added: “Obviously it’s a great honour for people to even think that they would contemplate giving you support. But I think Nigel has proven himself over the years to be a good and faithful deputy leader of the party.”