Arlene Foster announces resignation as DUP leader
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DUP leader and Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster has announced she will leave her post. She made a statement voicing her intentions this afternoon, a year before the country’s assembly elections. The move will come into effect from May 28 and follows a leadership vote request from DUP officials.
Who will replace Arlene Foster as DUP leader?
Assembly members and DUP MPs gathered in an attempt to oust Ms Foster, 50, from the party’s ranks with a vote of no-confidence.
Yesterday, most of the party’s 27 Stormont assembly members and allegedly four of its eight Westminster representatives signed a letter calling for a leadership contest.
The unprecedented move culminated in today’s announcement of her departure, in which Ms Foster signalled she would support arrangements to replace her.
She said: “It is important to give space over the next few weeks for the party officers to make arrangements for the election of a new leader.
“When elected, I will work with the new leader on transition arrangements.”
Officially, she will depart her role as DUP leader on May 28 and then step down as First Minister a month later by June 30.
Speculation has now started mounting as to who could replace her this summer.
Bookmakers have now released their odds on who could take her place in the months to come.
According to Ladbrokes, Edwin Poohs is odds-on to take the DUP helm at 6/4.
Lagan Valley’s MLA is just ahead of Gavin Robertson, DUP MP for Belfast East, who is on 4/1 odds.
Christopher Salford, MLA for South Belfast, is a fraction behind him on odds of 4/1 alongside Jeffrey Donaldson.
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Full odds are as follows:
- Edwin Poots: 6/4
- Gavin Robinson: 3/1
- Christopher Salford: 4/1
- Jeffrey Donaldson: 4/1
- Nigel Dodds: 10/1
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Following the news that Arlene Foster will be stepping down as DUP Leader, the betting suggests it’s Edwin Poots who’ll be replacing her, although Gavin Robinson has also seen some early interest from punters.”
The sudden outcry from the DUP has come amid expected voter backlash in local authority elections next year.
Ms Foster has recently ruffled feathers in her ranks after she abstained on last week’s vote to ban gay conversion “therapy”.
Brexit and Covid fallout has burned any further goodwill DUP members had towards her.
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