Sir Jeffrey Donaldson on track to be named new DUP leader

Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is in line to be appointed as the new leader of the DUP.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:54 pm
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 3rd May 2021 DUP MP for Lagan Valley Jeffrey Donaldson pictured at party HQ in east Belfast where he announced his bid for the DUP leadership. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Sir Jeffrey was the only candidate who received a valid nomination in the recent leadership election process after outgoing leader, fellow Lagan Valley politician, Edwin Poots was forced to resign.

Following the resignation of Arlene Foster, Sir Jeffrey and Mr Poots competed to win the leadership of the Party, with Sir Jeffrey losing by a narrow margin.

However, following an extraordinary week in politics, which saw a backlash against Mr Poots’ nomination of Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan as First Minister, and his negotiations surrounding an Irish Language Act, he was forced to resign, triggering yet another leadership election.

Despite rumours that Sammy Wilson could also seek the leadership nomination, when the process closed at 12noon on Tuesday (June 22), Sir Jeffrey was the only candidate for the top spot.

It is understood that Mr Poots will remain as party leader until the end of June.

Sir Jeffrey’s name will now go forward to the party’s electoral college, which is expected to meet on Saturday. He will then have to be ratified at a meeting of the Party’s executive, which could meet next week.