Northern Ireland

Robinson and McGuinness call for collective approach

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness
Image caption Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said they expect all ministers to support decisions, however tough

The first and deputy first ministers have said they hope there will be a more collective approach in the executive from now on.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were speaking after they co-chaired their first meeting of the new administration.

They also said in the days ahead, they expected all the ministers to support decisions, however tough.

Both men welcomed the new members.

Mr McGuinness said the electorate had made clear it wanted a constructive approach.

"It's no secret that I and others were unhappy at how the work of the previous executive was being portrayed in the media sometimes by people who were sitting round the table with us," he said.

Tough decisions

"What we're hoping to do is to get away from all of that, with people accepting that once executive decisions are taken people have a responsibility to stand by those decisions."

Mr Robinson said both he and the deputy first minister had made it clear that "we would play a full part in having an executive that would work collectively and cohesively".

Image caption There were some new faces around the executive table

"Together we would try to resolve problems in the executive room and we expect ministers, once agreements have been reached, to go out and support colleagues who have difficult decisions to take.

"We have three years before another election, that allows us a very adequate period to prepare and implement proposal.

"We have a very difficult period ahead of us, it will be made much more difficult if those who are supposed to be around this table as colleagues, decide to use the difficulties of one of their ministerial colleagues to try to score political points."

Mr Robinson also said he looked forward to making progress on the lowering of corporation tax in NI in the near future.