McGuinness to stay for next Assembly term

Martin McGuinness.
Martin McGuinness.

Martin McGuinness has revealed that he will lead Sinn Féin through the next term of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The deputy First Minister said the most important factor in his decision would be his health and the support of his party.

He said that he envisaged going on beyond this year’s election and said he could see out the Assembly’s next term.

“What I say to that is that Hillary Clinton is actually older than me and could conceivably be the President of the United States, if she’s elected as I predict that she will be,” he added.

“I think it really comes down to the state of your health, your mental disposition.

“It comes down to whether or not you’re prepared to get out of bed at 5.30am, go to Belfast and work all day, go back to Derry at night and have the energy to do the work.

“My energy levels are probably higher, I think, than an awful lot of 20, 30 or 40-year-olds.”

Meanwhile, the Derry republican says he’s committed to working with new First Minister Arlene Foster for the benefit of everyone in society.

“I pledge a positive spirit, a constructive spirit and a good heart in working with Arlene,” he said.

“I am an Irish republican and Arlene Forster is a unionist. Neither my republicanism nor Arlene Forster’s unionism will be, in any way, diminished by our working together.

“Unionism is not the enemy; the enemy is poverty, disadvantage, and unemployment.”

He added that the election of a female First Minister was a step forward for politics.

“I have been fortunate enough to work with excellent female ministers from my own party – Caitríona Ruane, Martina Anderson, Bairbre de Brún, Michelle Gildernew, Michelle O’Neill, Carál Ní Chuilín and Jennifer McCann – all of whom rose to the highest level of government because of their talent and ability.

“I’m a strong advocate of having more women in political life and political leadership and the election of a female First Minister is another step forward and a good day for politics.”