Incoming DUP leader seeks meeting with UK PM

Incoming DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said he wishes to have an early meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as it is confirmed he will take over from Edwin Poots as DUP leader. [EPA/WILL OLIVER]

Incoming leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Jeffrey Donaldson has said he wishes to have an early meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Donaldson’s name was the only one put forward to take over from outgoing leader Edwin Poots who was forced to resign after only three weeks in office. The party’s electoral college of 28 assembly members and eight MPs will meet Saturday to elect Donaldson as the new leader, the Irish Timesreported.

In a statement, Donaldson said he intended to speak to the UK prime minister “at the earliest opportunity” about the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“The [UK] government and those who claim to be protectors of peace and stability, must step up and deal with the Protocol in a manner which respects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom,” the statement read.

“I want to bring stability and encourage everyone to focus on what unites us as a people rather than on what divides us. There has been too much focus on division and recrimination both within unionism and within Northern Ireland. I will play my part but the government and Brussels must step up and recognise the flaws of the Protocol and how it was foisted upon Northern Ireland,” he added. (Paula Kenny |

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