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NIO let DUP pick its own leader?

The Daily Telegraph  has been running the next chapter of WikiLeaks, this one detailing a cable from the US Embassy in London to Washington deals with the NIO’s analysis of Ian Paisley’s resignation in 2008.

 It doesn’t supply us with that much we didn’t know before. The NIO reckoned Paisley’s departure wouldn’t “destabilize Northern Ireland” and that his “final, grand gesture”, his attendance at the Investment Conference, would probably stimulate interest in the event as invitees would be curious to see the old boy deliver his swansong. 

This section did read a bit strange though:

It would be up to the DUP to pick its new leader, said Todd (John Todd, Political Advisor in the Northern Ireland Office). Both Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds were names being considered for the leadership, according to Todd, with many suggesting Robinson may become the successor in a “Blair to Brown-type” deal. Todd said the choice was up to the DUP; the NIO was uninvolved and agnostic as to who should lead the party.

So, the NIO would play no part in choosing the leader, they were leaving it entirely up to the DUP.  

Why was it felt necessary to point that (what I would have thought) rather obvious fact out twice?

Were the Americans under the impression that HMG was running the DUP?

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One Response

  1. Nicholas says:

    Yes, probably the junior diplomat sent to Belfast did expect that the NIO would say who their preferred candidate was, or at the very least had been instructed to ask the question. The Americans usually would not only have a preferred candidate but make this very obvious, in similar circumstances!

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