Ian Paisley

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Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC (born 6 April 1926) is a politician and church minister in Northern Ireland. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the largest single grouping in the 2007 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, he was elected First Minister with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister on 8 May 2007.

In addition to co-founding the DUP and leading it from 1971 to 2008, he is a founding member and immediate past Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.

In 2005, Paisley's political party became the largest Unionist party in Northern Ireland, displacing his long-term rivals, the Ulster Unionists (UUP), who had dominated Unionist politics in Northern Ireland since the partition of Ireland. Paisley is also an author and speaker.

On 4 March 2008 he announced that he would step down as First Minister and leader of the DUP after the US-Northern Ireland Investment Conference in May 2008.[1] Peter Robinson duly took over as DUP leader on 31 May 2008, and replaced Paisley as First Minister on 5 June 2008.[2] On the 28 May 2010 it was gazetted that Paisley was to be made a life peer in the Dissolution Honours List of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[3] He was subsequently ennobled on 18 June 2010 as Baron Bannside, of North Antrim in the County of Antrim.[4]

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