“History will judge whether Ian Paisley will be remembered for forty years of saying ‘no’ or one year of saying ‘probably’. Many will say his road to Damascus conversion came thirty five years too late.
“The achievements of the Executive since last May have been modest in the extreme. By continuing as a lame duck for three months Ian Paisley will damage the Executive and in particular damage Northern Ireland by failing to capitalise on the full prospects of the US investment conference.
“The Executive is now in the throes of a leadership crisis; Tony Blair tried the same ‘long goodbye’ tactic and it did enormous damage to his successor.”