Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has announced that he will run in the competition to succeed Arlene Foster as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Sky News saw a letter sent to party MPs and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly confirming that they are participating in the race.
Stormont Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots was the first to declare his candidacy last week.
Mrs. Foster ad his resignation Last Wednesday, amid reports, three-quarters of the party’s assembly group wanted a leadership challenge.
Sir Jeffrey, 58, has been an MP for Lagan Valley for 24 years and currently heads the DUPthe Westminster parliamentary team.
A former chief whip, in 2017 he negotiated the £ 1bn trust and supply deal with the minority Conservative government.
Mr Poots, 55, who also represents the constituency of Lagan Valley, has been a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for 23 years.
Over the weekend, his campaign manager said he had secured the backing of most constituencies, including MPs and members of the assembly.
Mr Poots tweeted: “It’s great to hear the news that… the majority of the electoral college is behind my candidacy for the DUP leadership.
“It’s something we’re going to build on over the next week or so.
While Mr. Poots is the most ideological wing of the party and Sir Jeffrey the most pragmatic wing, there are other factors at play in this contest.
Many of those who support Mr. Poots believe that the leadership of …
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This notice was published: 2021-05-03 07:41:00