Edwin Poots stands down as DUP Leader following internal revolt

Irish Parliament Convenes As Parties Seek Viable Coalition

The UK's Secretary of State Brandon Lewis has given a deadline of Autumn for Stormont Ministers to introduce protections for the Irish language, like similar legislation that exists in Wales and Scotland.

Foster resigned on Monday following her ousting as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

So far, Givan is now is expected to be sworn into office as the new first minister, with Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill as deputy first minister.

A meeting of party officers took place on Thursday evening and afterwards, Edwin Poots said the election process for a new leader was to begin.

Sinn Fein, the largest Irish nationalist party, insist the nomination be accompanied by the implementation of the cultural elements of a political agreement brokered by London and Dublin which restored the executive early last year following three years without a devolved administration.

Party sources told the BBC that the meeting was "robust", and said it had become clear that Mr Poots knew he had to resign. Although he didn't immediately address the media, a statement was later released where Poots stated that he will remain in his post until a new leader has been elected.

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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.

Mr Poots will stay in his post until a successor is elected.

It is likely the DUP will want a new leader installed very quickly, and that could potentially happen in the next few weeks.

"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", he said in a statement.

"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.

Who will replace him as DUP leader?

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