DONALDSON REPLACES PAISLEY JR 02/26/08 11:51 EST Ian Paisley jnr finally stood down from his ministerial post in the Northern Ireland Executive today. The junior minister announced his intention to resign last week after months of media pressure about his relationship with north Antrim property developer Seymour Sweeney. Mr Paisley denied he was guilty of any wrongdoing in lobbying for a number of Mr Sweeney's property ventures, including a plan for a privately operated visitors' center at the World Heritage Giants Causeway site. Mr Paisley confirmed he was stepping down on the floor of the Assembly. "I want to place on record that I have been honoured to serve this country and indeed honored to serve under the leadership of the First Minister in particular," the Democratic Unionist North Antrim representative told MLAs. "I leave with high hopes, in good spirit and with deep humility and with gratefulness in my heart." His father paid tribute to his contribution to the government. "I would just like to say as the First Minister a word of thanks from the members of the office, of my own office and the deputy's, our thanks to my son Ian for the hard work he did while he was in office and we wish him well in the future." The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson (45) was today sworn in to replace Mr Paisley jnr. The former Ulster Unionist was sworn in by Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker William Hay. Mr Donaldson defected from the UUP to the DUP in 2004 along with Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster.