Poots scaled

Poots Resigns As DUP Leader

Edwin Poots (center of photo and smiling) has resigned as DUP leader. Press Eye photo.

By Irish Echo Staff

A mere 21 days into his leadership, Edwin Poots has resigned as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.

And, according to an RTE report, Northern Ireland is facing a new period of political instability as a result.

The resignation followed an internal party revolt after a deal between Sinn Féin and the British government on Irish language legislation, the RTE report stated.

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A plenary meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council which had been due to take place in County Armagh today has been postponed.

Added the report: "Mr. Poots was one of the key architects of the revolt that ousted Arlene Foster as DUP leader and Northern Ireland's First Minister.

"But exactly three weeks after being formally ratified as her successor he was forced to announce that he was standing down. He had no option after the rebellion against his decision to nominate his friend Paul Givan to be First Minister.

"The vast majority of the party's MPs and Assembly members voted against nominating Mr. Givan because of deep unease about the British government’s promise to introduce Irish language legislation. Sinn Féin had demanded the move as the price for going back into power sharing with the DUP."

According to the report, Mr. Poots was summoned to a meeting of the DUP's ruling party officer team yesterday afternoon.

He left after almost four hours without speaking to the media, but a short time later it was announced that he was resigning.

The planned plenary session of the ministerial council was cancelled after Mr. Givan was instructed not to attend.

Mr. Poots was only the fourth DUP leader in the 50-year history of a party founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley.

According to RTE, political parties in Northern Ireland have expressed bewilderment and anger at the political instability.

Sinn Féin said the focus of the Stormont Executive should be on tackling the issues at hand, continuing the Covid-19 vaccination program, tackling hospital waiting lists, and rebuilding the economy.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said it was time for some "grown-up" politics.