TUV: unionism ‘weaker than before’ after Edwin Poots’ three weeks at top

Edwin Poots has left unionism “in a weaker position than where he found it,” TUV leader Jim Allister has said.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 12:52 pm
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 1:18 pm
TUV leader Jim Allister speaking at Stormont on Thursday after Paul Givan was confirmed as First Minister

Mr Allister said the shock resignation of Mr Poots as DUP leader on Thursday night – after just three weeks in the post – has boosted Sinn Fein and “reopened the door to ransom politics”.

The TUV leader also said it was time for unionism to switch the main focus back to opposing the post-Brexit NI Protocol.

Edwin Poots leaves Unionism in a weaker position than where he found it,” Mr Allister said.

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“Conversely, he leaves Sinn Fein in a strong position as he reopened the door to ransom politics and then slavishly paid the Sinn Fein ransom. Whatever way you look at it, his short time as leader was disastrous.”

Mr Poots narrowly defeated Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in a leadership contest last month – sparked when a majority of the party’s MLAs lost faith in Arlene Foster’s leadership.

Mr Allister added: “The challenge for all of unionism now is to get the focus back where it should always have been – on the Union dismantling protocol and its defeat.

“Unless or until unionism gets serious about the protocol we will not defeat the living and tangible threat which it is to the very survival of the Union.”

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