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What does the resignation of DUP leader Edwin Poots mean for Northern Ireland?

Published on 18 June 2021 at 18:48


Edwin Poots has resigned as leader of the DUP just three weeks after being elected to the position in late May. 

 

The uncertainty of Poots’ leadership began yesterday when the British Government agreed to implement the Irish Language Act, in order to satisfy Sinn Féin to re-enter power-sharing in the Northern Ireland Executive. DUP MLA Paul Givan was installed as the new Northern Ireland First Minister along with Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill MLA as Deputy First Minister. 

 

The DUP is at a crisis point now, just when they need to make the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as strong as possible. The DUP must be alarmed also by the fact that earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD talked extensively about a United Ireland and what it would look like at the 80th Fine Gael ard fheis. 

 

The reaction to the resignation of Poots has been stale, with many showing little sympathy and being more matter-of-fact toward the situation at hand. Many individuals have expressed that they are at the end of their wit when it comes to the mess of the DUP.

 

Mr Poots left the meeting of DUP members yesterday after about 4 hours of deliberation. It is known that many MLA’s and MP’s were dissatisfied with the approach taken by the British Government to reinstall power-sharing. This resulted in many of them voting against nominating Paul Givan MLA to the position of First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive.

 

This has resulted in many calling First Minister Givan’s position uncertain, will he remain as First Minister or will things fall apart as they previously did in 2017 when Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin ) resigned in protest to the renewable heat incentive scandal. 

 

The circumstances at hand could also result in a snap election if the DUP and Sinn Féin cannot find agreement for power-sharing after Poots’ resignation. 

 

Parties and representatives across Northern Ireland and the Republic have been reacting to the news this morning. 

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney TD, who is very familiar with Northern Ireland’s politics says he believes that the key figures in the Northern Ireland Executive wish to get back to their jobs and to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability, despite tough circumstances. He has said that ‘stability and political leadership’ is what Northern Ireland needs right now. 

The new leader of the UUP Doug Beattie MLA said It doesn’t matter who the leader of the DUP is because they will face the same critical issues which were negotiated and agreed on their watch.

“Unionism deserves better and Northern Ireland deserves better. Unionism needs modern, confident, progressive leadership and a road map for recovery and renewal.”

Sinn Féin reacted by saying: the focus of the Stormont Executive should be on tackling the issues at hand, continuing the vaccination programme, tackling hospital waiting lists and rebuilding the economy.

Emma Little-Pengelly, former DUP South-Belfast MP said about Mr Poots’ leadership: "I think certainly in terms of his leadership over the first few weeks of his leadership it has been a very difficult start for him. There's no doubt about that.

"Very often we talk about a leadership bounce. I think for Edwin Poots, it was more like a bungee jump. There were a number of challenges. It was almost like a nightmare evEdwin Poots has resigned as leader of the DUP just three weeks after being elected to the position in late May. 

 

The uncertainty of Poots’ leadership began yesterday when the British Government agreed to implement the Irish Language Act, in order to satisfy Sinn Féin to re-enter power-sharing in the Northern Ireland Executive. DUP MLA Paul Givan was installed as the new Northern Ireland First Minister along with Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill MLA as Deputy First Minister. 

 

The DUP is at a crisis point now, just when they need to make the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as strong as possible. The DUP must be alarmed also by the fact that earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD talked extensively about a United Ireland and what it would look like at the 80th Fine Gael ard fheis. 

 

The reaction to the resignation of Poots has been stale, with many showing little sympathy and being more matter-of-fact toward the situation at hand. Many individuals have expressed that they are at the end of their wit when it comes to the mess of the DUP.

 

Mr Poots left the meeting of DUP members yesterday after about 4 hours of deliberation. It is known that many MLA’s and MP’s were dissatisfied with the approach taken by the British Government to reinstall power-sharing. This resulted in many of them voting against nominating Paul Givan MLA to the position of First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive.

 

This has resulted in many calling First Minister Givan’s position uncertain, will he remain as First Minister or will things fall apart as they previously did in 2017 when Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin ) resigned in protest to the renewable heat incentive scandal. 

 

The circumstances at hand could also result in a snap election if the DUP and Sinn Féin cannot find agreement for power-sharing after Poots’ resignation. 

 

Parties and representatives across Northern Ireland and the Republic have been reacting to the news this morning. 

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney TD, who is very familiar with Northern Ireland’s politics says he believes that the key figures in the Northern Ireland Executive wish to get back to their jobs and to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability, despite tough circumstances. He has said that ‘stability and political leadership’ is what Northern Ireland needs right now. 

The new leader of the UUP Doug Beattie MLA said It doesn’t matter who the leader of the DUP is because they will face the same critical issues which were negotiated and agreed on their watch.

“Unionism deserves better and Northern Ireland deserves better. Unionism needs modern, confident, progressive leadership and a road map for recovery and renewal.”

Sinn Féin reacted by saying: the focus of the Stormont Executive should be on tackling the issues at hand, continuing the vaccination programme, tackling hospital waiting lists and rebuilding the economy.

Emma Little-Pengelly, former DUP South-Belfast MP said about Mr Poots’ leadership: "I think certainly in terms of his leadership over the first few weeks of his leadership it has been a very difficult start for him. There's no doubt about that.

"Very often we talk about a leadership bounce. I think for Edwin Poots, it was more like a bungee jump. There were a number of challenges. It was almost like a nightmare every single day.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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