RTÉ Northern Editor Tommie Gorman analyses the DUP's reshuffling of its team at Stormont

The DUP has reshuffled its team at Stormont to end the practice of double-jobbing.

Seven of its nine MPs are to concentrate on working as Westminster MPs, leaving just the party leader, Peter Robinson, in his role as First Minister at Stormont and Sammy Wilson, moving from the Environment brief to the Finance portfolio in the power-sharing executive.

The senior DUP figures giving up Stormont roles are Finance Minister (and deputy leader) Nigel Dodds, Arts & Culture Minister Gregory Campbell, junior minister Jeffrey Donaldson and Assembly Committee chairpersons, Iris Robinson, Willie McCrea and David Simpson.

The reshuffle at Stormont will see Sammy Wilson get the Finance portfolio, Edwin Poots is promoted to the role of Environment Minister, North Belfast Assembly member Nelson McCausland becomes the new Environment Minister and Robin Newton is appointed junior minister.

One reason behind the reshuffle is the DUP's poor performance in the recent European elections during which it came in for criticism over double-jobbing and MPs' allowances and expenses. Peter Robinson is seeking to prepare the party for next year's Westminster elections and part of his strategy is to have representatives decide between a role in Stormont or London.

Now the three key DUP figures in the team at Stormont are Peter Robinson, the party leader and First Minister, Sammy Wilson, the new Minister for Finance who like Mr Robinson is also an MP, and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who was not elected to Westminster.


Sammy Wilson's promotion is a talking point. As well as being an Assembly minister and Westminster MP, he is also a member of Belfast City Council. In spite of the controversy about double jobbing, he has opted to retain three positions.

His promotion from the Environment to Finance role, where he replaces the party deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, is a surprise. But he will work closely with his party leader and first minister, Peter Robinson, who held the finance role in past administrations.

Gregory Campbell's decision to vacate the Arts & Culture role and concentrate on Westminster may remove some of the tension from day to day relations within the power-sharing administration. He was frequently involved in tetchy exchanges with Sinn Féin, the DUP's partners in government. His replacement, Nelson McCausland, is a prominent Orange Lodge member and North Belfast MLA. He was among the leading opponents of the proposed multi-sport stadium at the site of the Maze Prison. His appointment may signal a difference in style if not substance.

The DUP MPs who are also Assembly members but now with no senior roles at Stormont are:
Ian Paisley snr
Nigel Dodds
Jeffrey Donaldson
Iris Robinson
Gregory Campbell
Willie McCrea
David Simpson

Two DUP MPs who are also Assembly members are:
Peter Robinson, party leader and First Minister
Sammy Wilson, Minister for Finance