Edwin poots

Edwin Poots’s resignation could cause a crisis in Northern Ireland

The end of Edwin Poots’s 21-day spell as leader of the DUP sums up the ordeal of being a unionist leader. Elected as a hard-line replacement for Arlene Foster, he has departed now after being seen to have given too much away to Sinn Fein over the Irish language. Who will replace him? The early candidate appears to be Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the party’s Westminster leader who was defeated by Poots in last month’s contest. His supporters are championing him as a stabilising influence in a party which has ripped itself apart, with others suggesting that he should be elected without a contest. Poots’s election was a last roll of

How long will Edwin Poots’s DUP reign last?

New DUP leader Edwin Poots has wasted little time consigning the Arlene Foster era to history. Poots’ shake-up of his Stormont ministerial team has resulted in Foster’s loyalists being shown the door, in favour of what the Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister drily termed ‘Poots’ posts’. Poots’ appointment of Paul Givan, his fellow Lagan Valley MLA, as first minister of Northern Ireland, is perhaps his most controversial, though not unexpected, move. Givan, who like Poots is a creationist, is one of the more verbose figures in the DUP hinterland. During his previous spell as communities minister – at the height of the renewable heating crisis, which did for devolution

The two halves of Ireland can’t be forced together

Last week, Edwin Poots was elected leader of the DUP. You will have read all about him. I have. You may not previously have known much about him. I didn’t. We should hesitate, I think, to respond to his elevation with a broad-brush sneering dismissal, or in personal terms. We know, of course, about Mr Poots’s creationist beliefs and most of us reject them, and I don’t like his views on homosexuality or abortion; but Poots has proved able to work pragmatically with republican fellow politicians. In an important way, though, this isn’t about Poots, but what he represents: a unionist shift towards back-to-basics fundamentalism. His party is lurching towards

Will the DUP’s Edwin Poots win his war on the Northern Ireland protocol?

What to make of the triumph of Edwin Poots, the new leader of the Democratic Unionist party, who defeated the party’s Westminster leader Jeffrey Donaldson by 19 votes to 17 in its first ever leadership election? Poots’ victory marks for some the definitive end of the party’s moderate turn instituted by Peter Robinson in 2008. Those not au fait with the intricacies of the DUP may find the suggestion of moderation risible. But Robinson – and indeed his own successor, Arlene Foster – recognised that for unionism to succeed, a more open approach was needed. While the execution of that strategy was often lacking, the intent was there. For many within

Edwin Poots’s narrow leadership win is a sign of DUP divisions

Edwin Poots is the new leader of the DUP. He defeated Jeffrey Donaldson by 19 votes to 17. The closeness of the race, the DUP’s first ever leadership contest, is a sign of how deeply divided the party is. While Poots is the new DUP leader, he will not be First Minister. He has been clear that he will leave that job to a party colleague. Donaldson, like Arlene Foster, has come to the DUP from the Ulster Unionist Party. In party terms, he is a more moderate figure. Poots, though, was born into the DUP and is a more hardline social conservative. He will likely concentrate on winning back