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Northern Ireland: Edwin Poots defeats Sir Jeffrey Donaldson to succeed Arlene Foster at the head of the DUP | Political news

Edwin Poots was elected leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

He succeeds Arlene foster who announced it resignation, following an internal revolt against its leadership.

Mr Poots, 55, who has held multiple Stormont portfolios, is currently Minister for Agriculture for Northern Ireland.

He has no plans to succeed Ms Foster as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and will nominate another DUP candidate.

After the outcome was announced, Mr Poots spoke about the resilience of the people of Northern Ireland.

“It is this resilience that we are going to move forward and make Northern Ireland a good place.” he said.

“This party has been the authentic voice of unionism and will continue to be the authentic voice of unionism under my leadership.”

Arlene Foster steps down as DUP leader.
Arlene Foster announces her resignation as DUP chief

It was a close the contest between Mr Poots and the party leader at Westminster, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP.

Sir Jeffrey represents the most pragmatic wing of the party and Mr. Poots the most ideological.

The newly elected leader has courted controversy in the past over his firmly held views on evolution and homosexuality.

Edwin Poots is also a candidate for the position of leader
Mr. Poots, 55, has held multiple Stormont wallets

As health minister, he tried to uphold the ban on homosexuals from donating blood and opposed adoption by same-sex couples.

Many will see it as a victory for the more traditional wing of the DUP, but there was another dimension to the competition.

Both candidates pledged to reform the party and reconnect leadership with the grassroots.

He is under pressure to take a tougher line on Northern Ireland’s Brexit protocol than his predecessor did.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
His rival Sir Jeffrey Donaldson lost the race to lead the DUP

Some Unionists want to end cooperation with the Irish government over the border with the Irish Sea.

But that would be considered …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-14 12:34:00