On Monday the 11 January 2016 the Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA notified the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly of his resignation, under section 16B of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, with effect from 11 January 2016.
This video replays Peter Robinson’s statement that he made to the House and the tributes that he received.
From the Official Report:
“Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am grateful for the opportunity to make this statement. It is typical of the fairness and courtesy that you have demonstrated during your time in office that you provided me with this opportunity and made all the necessary arrangements. I can assure you that I do not intend to trespass on your generosity by speaking for too long.
It has been a great privilege to serve the people of Northern Ireland for almost 40 years, with nearly eight of those as First Minister. In this Assembly, we have had our share of trials and ordeals but, through them all, we have emerged much stronger. Every new institution composed of politicians who have known nothing other than being in opposition will have a learning curve while Members mature, develop and adapt to taking responsibility and while the more sensible ones adjust their ambitions to fit the politics of what, with effort, is achievable.
Crucially, after centuries of division, we had to outlive the growing pains of learning to work together, fashion shared policies and create a more inclusive society. It is a feature of every societal transformation that some will be displeased at the pace of change, some believing it to be too fast, and others feeling that it is too slow. Yet, so much has been achieved and the platform now exists to do even more.
Politics, by its nature, is a combative endeavour and we do not always take time to recognise the role that others play. I differ from some in the House on many issues but, in my long experience in politics, there are very few who are not well motivated and who do not act in the best interests of society as they see it.”