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

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.