Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister resigns as DUP leader

Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister resigns as DUP leader”

After Thursday's meeting, it had reportedly become clear that Poots' position had become untenable after allegations emerged that he failed to consult his colleagues over Givan's nomination to become the first minister.

"The DUP is remaining very tight-lipped in terms of their approach to the First Minister, and, of course, electing a new leader".

Before he was appointed leader of the DUP Poots, he was the Minister for Agriculture of Northern Ireland, which despite being part of the United Kingdom has its own government and parliament (the assembly) that deals with local affairs.

The development came after a night of intensive talks between Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and DUP and Sinn Féin delegations in Belfast.

The members were unhappy that Mr Poots had agreed to enter a coalition on that basis.

At a meeting on June 17 they voted overwhelming against nominating a First Minister because they wanted to Mr Poots to explain the basis of the agreement.

The UK Government had been warned by DUP politicians about getting involved in such a sensitive, devolved issue.

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The party is looking for another new leader after Poots announced his intention to quit following a brief but tumultuous reign.

He narrowly defeated Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in the leadership contest, and there has been speculation that the Lagan Valley MP is now the front-runner to succeed Mr Poots.

According to the statement, he would remain at the post until a successor is elected.

"This has been a hard period for the Party and the country and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place", the Lagan Valley MLA continued.

DUP group leader on Derry City & Strabane District Council, Hilary McClintock, explained that people will have to put their name forward and the party will make a decision on it.

The Derry News spoke to DUP Aldermen Maurice Devenney and Alderman Hilary McClintock who were not willing to say who they support as next leader.

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