Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Edwin Poots stands down as DUP Leader following internal revolt

Mary Lou Mc Donald press conference beside Carson's statue on Stormont estate. She is flanked by party colleagues Michelle O'Neill and Conor Murphy N.Ireland parties agree on new First Minister, staving off fresh crisis
Cary Erickson | 18 June, 2021, 13:40

Political turbulence comes amid growing dissatisfaction among Unionists in Northern Ireland following Brexit as, under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, a customs border has been established between the nation and the rest of the UK.

DUP leader Edwin Poots and First Minister designate Paul Givan left a meeting with Mr Lewis at around 8.45pm.

He faced severe backlash from party colleagues over his decision to agree a deal with Sinn Féin and nominate Paul Givan as first minister.

Speaking this evening Mr Poots 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". Sinn Fein will nominate @moneillsf as deputy First Minister. Sinn Fein had reportedly demanded a commitment from Poots over a timetable for implementing an Irish language legislation.

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Ms McDonald said following legislation by Westminster "we expect that (Irish language) commissioners will be in place by March 2022, perhaps even earlier than that, but certainly within the mandate of the current assembly".

After Arlene Foster's resignation as First Minister on Monday, the DUP and inn Féin had just seven days to nominate for the two positions, or else power-sharing would collapse.

"If that becomes necessary, we will introduce legislation in October 2021".

So far, Givan is now is expected to be sworn into office as the new first minister, with Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill as deputy first minister.