Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has signaled that he will not collapse the power-sharing after launching his candidacy to become the fifth DUP leader.
In a statement announcing his candidacy, he pledged to put the party “on track to winning next year’s election” – while a poll in October would be on the cards if it were to bring down the elections. institutions.
Sir Jeffrey is expected to become the DUP’s designated leader at noon if there are no further candidates for the post. It is then in the process of being ratified by the party executive on Saturday.
In his nomination paper, Sir Jeffrey notably made no mention of Irish language legislation as a political obstacle. Its main focus was protocol. “Make no mistake, this is the number one issue facing our country, our people and our place in the UK,” he said.
“If elected, I will ensure that the government does not just listen, but recognizes the need to take decisive action to quickly deal with the protocol.
“Inaction will undoubtedly have consequences for the stability of our political institutions and the prosperity of our economy. “
He called on the DUP to come together and “take into account the challenges facing Northern Ireland”.
He said: “We must restore confidence and faith in our party and work with other like-minded trade unionists to broaden the appeal of trade unionism and secure the Union for the future.
“We need to deliver tangible results for the people who trust us, which also means building bridges between our divided communities and developing what a common future means for all, regardless of their background or beliefs. “
Paul Bell, a member of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Association of DUP, who has dramatically announced his intention to step down due to Arlene Foster’s treatment, told UTV yesterday that he would stay ahead of Sir Jeffrey at the head.
The way is now potentially clear for Newry’s advisers, Morne and Down, Glyn Hanna and Kathryn Owen, and former Westminster candidate Diane Forsythe, to return as well.
Mr Poots told Sky News on Monday that he appointed Paul Givan as prime minister against his party’s will to fight protocol.
“I focused on protocol first and foremost because constitutionally that’s what hurts Northern Ireland. Our best asset right now in the fight against the protocol is actually having the Assembly, ”he said.
Mr Poots insisted he would have been prepared to “remove Paul Givan from this job” if there had been no movement on the protocol. He said people thought he played a bigger role in ousting Ms Foster than he did.
Mr Givan made his first official appointment as prime minister on Monday amid growing questions over how long he will be allowed to stay in office.
Visiting the PIPS Suicide Prevention Ireland mental health charity in Belfast, he said the Lagan Valley MP would have his full support as a leader. He described him as a close personal friend and a “great politician”.
Mr. Givan spoke to staff about his own family’s experience with mental health issues and his grandmother’s death by suicide.