THE Lagan Valley MP Edwin Poots has tonight resigned as DUP leader after just three weeks in the post.
It follows a revolt among the party’s MLAs earlier over the decision to nominate Paul Givan as First Minister after the British Government had agreed to legislate for an Irish Language Act.
A process to replace Mr Poots in the top post will now be undertaken, although Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson is expected to be appointed unopposed.
In a statement, Mr Poots said he has asked the Party Chairman to commence an electoral process within the party to allow fo a new leader to be elected.
“This has been a difficult period for the party and the country and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place.”
The decision means that the Stormont Executive could once again be plunged into doubts if Paul Givan is forced to resign and the new DUP leader decides against nominating a First Minister in protest against last night’s agreement with the Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis over an Irish Language Act.