Edwin Poots set to name new ministerial team at Stormont

The changes come after the DUP was rocked by a number of resignations.
Edwin Poots set to name new ministerial team at Stormont

Jonathan McCambridge, PA

New DUP leader Edwin Poots is set to name his new Stormont ministerial team as the party attempts to recover from a number of resignations.

Mr Poots is meeting selected party members ahead of the announcements being made throughout Tuesday.

The roles will be designate at this stage, with the appointments post-dated to take effect later.

Current First Minister Arlene Foster previously indicated she will stand down when Mr Poots names a new ministerial team.

However, Mr Poots said Mrs Foster will remain as First Minister to lead a British-Irish Council meeting in her home constituency of Fermanagh on Friday.

Coronavirus – Mon May 24, 2021
First Minister Arlene Foster indicated she will resign when the new DUP ministerial team is announced (Liam McBurney/PA)

It has been widely speculated that Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan will be named as the new First Minister designate.

The new appointments come as the DUP has been left reeling by a number of resignations.

The latest member to leave described the “mind-blowing arrogance” of some during a meeting to ratify the appointment of the new leader.

South Down DUP constituency association chairman and councillor Glynn Hanna, his daughter Diane Forsythe, association member Richard McKee, and councillor Kathryn Owen all announced their resignations this week.

The latest to quit is Upper Bann association member Roberta McNally.

In her resignation statement posed on social media, Ms McNally referred to scenes at a party Executive meeting to ratify Mr Poots as leader last month.

“Having been at the meeting myself, I also witnessed senior members telling people to put their hands down to enable the vote to be open,” she said.

“It was clear that those of us who did put our hands up were being noted.

“The arrogance of some senior members at the meeting was mind-blowing.

“I personally, until now, have enjoyed my time in the DUP and it was a great privilege to be elected onto the executive.

“I am extremely sorry to say that I informed the Upper Bann chairman of my resignation.”

DUP councillors resign
Councillors Glyn Hanna and Kathryn Owen resigned from DUP this week (Liam McBurney/PA)

Mr Poots has conceded that members of the party “have been bruised” over its leadership election.

The Agriculture Minister told the BBC’s Spotlight that it could take “a little time to heal”.

“I think it is peripheral, but nonetheless I don’t want to lose anybody from the party,” he said.

“I will be continuing to reach out to people to seek to ensure that we keep as many people as possible and to bring new people into the party.”

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