Fair Deal (Belfast, Slugger O’Toole): The Northern Ireland nomination faux crisis is over but it will mean an earlier than expected visit to Downing Street for Peter Robinson as Northern Ireland’s First Minister.
As Robinson crosses the threshold, a Prime Minister in the need of new friends will be there to greet him. The fact Brown has had to court the DUP over 42 days will be fresh in both their minds. However, the Labour backbench in varying degrees of panic and a cabinet of the dubious means Brown should have the sense to realise it may not be the last time he will seek DUP favour.
What will Robinson and the DUP be seeking? At Paisley’s farewell event the platform slogan was “Working for You, Winning for You”. Robinson aims to generate a feel good factor for the Unionist community and show devolution delivering. His broader devolution vision was outlined in his nomination speech. Whether Brown can and will address both goals will determine the future relationship between the two and possibly a few crucial parliamentary votes.