Paisley calls for a united Ireland

While Dublin politicians bemoan the loss of sovereignty as the IMF comes to town, veteran Northern firebrand Ian Paisley has called for the reunification of Ireland — under Queen Elizabeth.

Speaking in the House of Lords, the newly-ennobled Lord Bannside praised a letterwriter to the Irish Independent newspaper who “invited Her Majesty to come over and take the whole of Ireland under her control.”

The newly-ennobled Lord Bannside went on: “I am not going to throw such a bomb as that into the House today. But it’s a very good thought and, if we all came together with Her Majesty at our head, I think we would do very well.”

Paisley was speaking in a Lords debate on the role of active citizenship in society. It was his first address to the upper chamber of the British parliament.

It is customary in the Lords for maiden speeches to steer clear of controversy.

“I am a great believer in being active and — hold onto your seats — I am not going to be too active today because there are other things in mind,” the 84-year-old told the assembled peers.

“I have no intention of sitting in this place for 40 years!” he added, referring to his lengthy Commons career.

“When it comes to active citizenship, there are few who can surpass your record in Northern Ireland,” the Bishop of Leicester said in reply.