Edwin Poots: DUP gave me one evening to decide if I would resign

Outgoing DUP leader Edwin Poots has said that his party gave him only one evening to think about resigning.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:58 am

The DUP MLA and Stormont Agriculture Minister announced his resignation from leading the party last Thursday night after 21 days in the position.

He resigned on Thursday night after an internal party revolt over his decision to agree a deal with Sinn Féin on the Irish Language and nominate Paul Givan as first minister. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP is to replace him as leader.

Mr Poots said today that he was given little time to consider his position by the party.

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DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (left) and his predecessor Edwin Poots.

He walked into a party officers meeting on Thursday last week to face opposition, he said.

“Most of the party officers were backing Jeffrey so it was never going to be an easy room to convince,” Mr Poots told the Nolan Show today. “It was pretty obvious the way the meeting was going so rather than push it to votes I indicated that I was willing to step back if that is what they wanted.”

Asked if the officers indicated they wanted his resignation and if they gave him time to think about it, he said: “

“The time and the space was that evening and that room, it wasn’t for a number of days.”

He was not even given a full day to consider the matters.

“Well basically I had to make a decision so I didn’t want a circumstance where I was trying to hang in and people were trying to get rid of me and all of that. I don’t think that would have helped matters and I decided to take the decision out of other people’s hands and put it into mine.”

He said that he has not spoken to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson since he was announced as the new leader, but that his colleague had called him but he was not free to answer.

“But I have indicated that I would like to speak to him,” he added.


Sam McBride: Bewildering contrast between how Edwin Poots seized power and how he used that power

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