Following an internal insurrection, Edwin Poots will step down as DUP leader.
Following an internal uprising against him, Edwin Poots is expected to step down as DUP leader.
On Thursday, a meeting of DUP party officers began, with the newly chosen leader facing a huge rebuke.
Senior DUP figures gathered at the party’s Belfast headquarters amid reports that Mr Poots could face a no-confidence vote.
After a huge majority of the DUP’s elected representatives opposed Mr Poots’ decision to designate a Stormont First Minister, the party appeared to be in disarray.
“I have asked the party chairman to begin an electoral process within the party to allow for the election of a new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,” Mr Poots said in a statement following the meeting.
“The party has requested that I stay in office until my successor is elected.
“This has been a trying time for the party and the country, and I’ve told the chairman that I’m determined to do everything I can to ensure that both unionism and Northern Ireland can move forward to a better place.”
As a result, Mr Poots will be the DUP’s shortest-serving leader ever.
On May 14, he was elected as Arlene Foster’s successor, following a mutiny by supporters of Mr Poots against the outgoing First Minister.
On May 27, he was legally approved as leader, indicating that he had only been in the position for 21 days.
His impending departure comes after a tumultuous 24 hours in Northern Irish politics.
In a brutal internal meeting only minutes before the Northern Ireland Assembly’s procedure for nominating Stormont’s leaders began, a large majority of MLAs and MPs voted against his decision to reassemble the powersharing Executive with Sinn Fein.
Members were outraged that Mr Poots went ahead with his nomination of Paul Givan, a member of Sinn Fein’s Lagan Valley constituency, as First Minister despite Sinn Fein securing a significant concession from the UK Government to legislate for Irish language regulations at Westminster.
The Government made a late-night announcement, promising to approve the delayed measures in the autumn if they were passed. (This is a brief piece.)