Ian Paisley to quit as First Minister

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One of Britain's most controversial politicians, the Rev Ian Paisley, has announced he is to quit as Northern Ireland's First Minister following concerns within his party over his close relationship with Sinn Fein.

Mr Paisley - previously one of the most outspoken critics of Irish republicanism - steered his Democratic Unionist Party from the fringes of Northern Irish politics to become the biggest party in a power-sharing executive last year with Martin McGuinness as his deputy.

His decision to resign came amid mounting criticism within his party over his apparent closeness to Mr McGuinness, Sinn Fein's chief negotiator.

The pair were pictured joking in public, earning them the nickname "the Chuckle Brothers".

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