Edwin Poots resigns as DUP leader after three weeks

Edwin Poots has confirmed tonight that he has resigned as leader of the DUP less than a month after he was installed in the post.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 11:21 pm

In a day of high political drama at Stormont, Mr Poots faced a revolt among some of his own party colleagues reportedly over the decision not to delay the nomination of Paul Givan as First Minister.

Mr Givan has only been in post for a matter of hours after both he and Sinn Fein's returning Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill were officially installed earlier today.

This came after Sinn Fein secured assurances from the British government that it will legislate for the long delayed Act na Gaeilge in October, ending a 15 year wait for the Irish Language Act. This commitment paved the way for the installation of the first and deputy first ministers today.

Mr Poots recently won a leadership contest against fellow MLA Jeffrey Donaldson, 19 votes to 17, after the abrupt exit of former DUP leader Arlene Foster. A number of DUP resignations followed the contest.

Speaking this evening Democratic Unionist Party Leader Edwin Poots MLA who has been in the post for 21 days, said : "I have asked the Party Chairman to commence an electoral process within the Party to allow for a new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party to be elected.

"The Party has asked me to remain in post until my successor is elected.

This has been a difficult period for the Party and the country and I have conveyed to the Chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both Unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place.”