Paisley seeks to retain Commons seat

23/02/2005 - 17:38:00

DUP leader Ian Paisley is to seek a new mandate to extend his House of Commons career.

The DUP confirmed its veteran leader will defend the seat he has occupied in North Antrim for 35 years.

As he prepared to defend a 14,224 majority, Mr Paisley said his party’s tough stance in recent negotiations had unnerved Sinn Féin.

But he also questioned whether republicans were serious about ending all links to criminality and terror.

Mr Paisley’s announcement will be interpreted as a clear sign that the DUP leader intends to remain a major figure in Northern Ireland politics for at least another four or five years.

Last year he decided to quit the European Parliament, making way for party colleague Jim Allister who topped the poll.

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