Edwin Poots resigns as leader of the DUP

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis                     Image Rebecca Black

The DUP is looking for another new leader after Mr Poots announced his intention to quit after a brief but tumultuous reign in the party's top job.

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.

Whoever takes over from Edwin Poots as DUP leader will have a massive amount of work to do.

Northern Ireland's biggest parties agreed on Thursday to back a replacement for former First Minister Arlene Foster, staving off a fresh political crisis in the British-run region that threatened to lead to a snap election.

The main cause for the recently-increased tensions in Northern Ireland is reportedly new Irish language legislation pushed by Sinn Fein, involving a special status for the native tongue, by analogy with legislation for Welsh speakers in Wales.

He faced an internal revolt after MLAs opposed his decision to nominate a new First Minister and reassemble the Executive, after Sinn Féin secured its key ask on Irish language laws. At the close of the meeting, Poots was spotted leaving but did not offer comment.

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He said he had been asked by the party to remain in post until his successor is elected.

What did Mr Poots' statement say?

"It will now be a matter for the Democratic Unionist Party in terms of, you know, electing a new leader", he said.

"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".

Speaking to DUP figures last night, they were saying that the party needs stability and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who is widely tipped to be the frontrunner for the post, could help bring that.

Regardless, Poots's remarkably short period as leader of the party has naturally become fodder for memes and jokes with many trying to put into context his short spell in the role with other historical events and his own beliefs.

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