DUP leader Edwin Poots speaks to veteran member Paul Bell who resigned ‘over Foster’s treatment’
Edwin Poots says he has spoken to a veteran DUP member who resigned following his ratification as party leader.
The meeting of the DUP in Belfast on Thursday has been described as stormy, with several high-profile members, including former leader Arlene Foster and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leaving before Mr Poots made his speech.
Paul Bell, from the Fermanagh and South Tyrone association of the party, who had been a member of the DUP for 20 years, was among those who left early.
He went on to make a statement to the media, saying he was resigning from the DUP in protest at the treatment of Mrs Foster.
Mr Bell warned that the DUP will lose “thousands of votes” over the recent course of events.
On Friday Mr Poots said he had had a good conversation with Mr Bell that morning.
Asked whether Mr Bell had changed his mind and decided to stay in the DUP, Mr Poots said: “That is entirely up to him.
“Sometimes people do things in haste but I had a good conversation with him this morning and I would love for him to stay in the party.
“He has made a good contribution over 20 years in the party.”
Mr Poots added: “I am reaching out the hand to others who maybe aren’t happy about the result of the contest, but there was a contest, it was fair, the outcome is clear, I have a task to do and I will do that task.”
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