Northern Ireland's first minister Peter Robinson has had a suspected heart attack the BBC has reported.

Robinson (66) took ill on Monday morning and was rushed to Belfast’s Royal Victoria hospital.

In a statement the hospital said tests were underway:

"Mr Robinson underwent a procedure this morning and is currently recovering in the RVH.

"He and his family have requested the need for privacy from this point onwards."

Robinson has served as First Minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader since 2008, succeeding lan Paisley in both jobs.

This was to be a critical week in the North with Sinn Fein threatening to walk from the executive if deep welfare cuts were enacted.

It is not known how Robinson’s illness will affect that situation.

The DUP has asked that the Robinson family's privacy should be respected.

Peter Robinson in hospital. I hope he is ok.

— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) May 25, 2015

Concerned to hear First Minister Peter Robinson has been admitted to hospital.My thoughts & prayers are with him,Iris & family.

— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) May 25, 2015

My best wishes to Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson, who is in hospital. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 25, 2015

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson http://t.co/kOE3vXUrxk

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 25, 2015

Very sorry to hear about Peter Robinson (@DUPleader), wishing him a speedy recovery

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 25, 2015

Peter Robinson: No one wants to return to home rule or violence. It’s time for some grown up negotiation.Photocall Ireland