News story

Prime Minister visits Northern Ireland

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

David Cameron has visited Northern Ireland for the first time as Prime Minister.

The PM was accompanied by the new Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

He travelled to Stormont Castle for talks with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Following his meeting, the PM stressed the Government’s “absolute” commitment to Northern Ireland and the devolved institutions.

He said:

We are committed to the peaceful progress - such big steps have been taken over these last 13 to 15 years - we want that to continue.

That is the future for Northern Ireland, that’s what my government wants, that’s what the Deputy First Minister and First Minister want so badly and that’s what we are all together committed to achieve.

The PM also added that he was committed to “getting the economy in Northern Ireland going”.

He said:

It is an absolutely essential task that we have a strong recovery, good growth and a strong commercial and private sector here in Northern Ireland.

Before heading to Northern Ireland, the PM and Deputy Prime Minister unveiled their new Coalition programme for government. 

On Northern Ireland, the document said:

We will continue to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland, standing firmly behind the agreements negotiated and institutions they establish.

We will work to bring Northern Ireland back into the mainstream of UK politics, including producing a government paper examining potential mechanisms for changing the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland.

Following his visit to Stormont Castle, the PM held meetings with other party leaders before travelling to Paris to meet President Sarkozy on Thursday evening.

Read more: The Coalition: our programme for government

Speeches and transcripts: PM’s press conference in Northern Ireland