Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.49 22 Jun 2021


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Jeffrey Donaldson is to become the next leader of the DUP, after an uncontested leadership race.

The DUP began its search for a new leader last week, after Edwin Poots resigned from the role after just three weeks.

Jeffrey Donaldson - who'd lost the previous leadership race to Mr Poots - was the only person to put his name forward.

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The Lagan Valley MP said he does not underestimate the challenge he now faces, amid continued political turmoil over the post-Brexit arrangements for the North.

He said he'll be speaking to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say it's "not realistic to expect stability" amid unionist opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Donaldson said: "The Government and those who claim to be protectors of peace and stability, must step up and deal with the Protocol in a manner which respects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.

I want to bring stability and encourage everyone to focus on what unites us as a people rather than on what divides us. There has been too much focus on division and recrimination both within unionism and within Northern Ireland.

"I will play my part but the Government and Brussels must step up and recognise the flaws of the Protocol and how it was foisted upon Northern Ireland.”

Some unionists groups have warned they'll take their protests to Dublin if the Protocol remains in place.

Main image: Jeffrey Donaldson. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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