DUP leader Edwin Poots asks Arlene Foster for ‘clear the air meeting’

Edwin Poots has asked Arlene Foster for a clear the air meeting following her acrimonious toppling as DUP leader.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:02 pm
The new designate leader of the DUP, Edwin Poots.

Mr Poots was elected as Mrs Foster’s successor in a contest triggered by her resignation as party leader and Stormont First Minister.

She was forced out after an internal heave by colleagues unhappy with her leadership.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Mr Poots said his party needed to “heal” following the upheavals of recent weeks.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I don’t think there’s a nice way of doing things like this,” he said of the revolt against Mrs Foster.

“And ultimately the party’s in a circumstance where it needs to heal and move on and that’s something which I intend to do and intend to drive forward.

“The focus has to be on the issues of the day. And unfortunately politics is a very rough and tumble business. And it may be something which affects me at some point in the future as well.”

Mr Poots said he had spoken with Mrs Foster as part of their ongoing business at Stormont Executive meetings. But he said he wanted to have a one-to-one encounter with the outgoing Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA whenever she is “able and ready”.

“Obviously I’ve been in meetings with her and spoke to her in those meetings,” he said.

“What I have offered is a one to one meeting and I hope that that will be fulfilled.

“Arlene’s pretty busy at the moment, she’s meeting the Royal family today and she has other significant meetings this week.

“Whenever she is able and ready I will welcome the opportunity to speak to her.”

Asked if it would provide an opportunity to “clear the air” between them, Mr Poots said: “Yes absolutely. We have worked with each other for the past 15 years. Her and I entered the executive in 2007 together as ministers and have worked closely on many, many issues.

“And I would hope that we can actually reflect on all of that as we look to the future.”

---

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe

Editor