Advertisement

Arlene Foster under pressure as 'overwhelming majority' of DUP MLAs demand leadership contest

DUP leader and Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster is under pressure after a large ma...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.02 28 Apr 2021


Share this article


Arlene Foster under pressure a...

Arlene Foster under pressure as 'overwhelming majority' of DUP MLAs demand leadership contest

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.02 28 Apr 2021


Share this article


DUP leader and Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster is under pressure after a large majority of MLAs pushed for a leadership challenge.

It was widely reported yesterday evening that three-quarters of the party's assembly members signed a letter demanding a leadership contest.

The news was first reported by the Belfast News Letter.

Advertisement

It comes amid dissatisfaction around the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol.

Hardline and evangelical members of the party are also reportedly unhappy with Ms Foster's decision to abstain in a recent vote to ban the practice of gay conversion therapy.

The DUP has not officially commented on the reports.

Ms Foster, however, said stories around leadership come up 'from time to time' - saying the party would deal with it and she has 'bigger things to do'.

On Newstalk Breakfast, Amanda Ferguson - freelance journalist in Belfast - said it does appear Ms Foster now faces a major challenge to her leadership.

Arlene Foster under pressure as 'overwhelming majority' of DUP MLAs demand leadership contest

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

She said: "If the overwhelming majority of the party are moving against her, it’s hard to imagine how she could survive.

“My understanding is 22 of the DUP’s 27 MLAs have signed [the letter] expressing support for a leadership contest."

Ms Ferguson said these issues have been "bubbling for quite a while", but the scale of the internal DUP opposition to Ms Foster is still very unusual.

She said: “The party discipline is something that’s usually very strict.

"If the DUP ousts Arlene Foster, all the problems and challenges they face still remain.

“Whoever might take over… the challenges that lie ahead for whoever takes over are considerable.”

Ms Ferguson explained that the MLAs' letter is also calling for deputy leader Nigel Dodds to go.

She said the likes of Jeffrey Donaldson, Edwin Poots, Sammy Wilson and Gavin Robinson could be interested in a leadership bid.

However, she noted the party could consider splitting the roles of DUP leader and Northern Ireland first minister - meaning there would be two senior roles available.

Main image: Arlene Foster. Picture by: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images

Share this article


Read more about

Arlene Foster DUP

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Moncrieff

Moncrieff

14:00-16:00

Share

Up next

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on