Exhausted! New DUP leader Edwin Poots SACKS ministers loyal to predecessor Arlene Foster

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New DUP leader Edwin Poots today fired ministers loyal to his predecessor Arlene Foster when he unveiled Northern Ireland’s new Prime Minister.

DUP leader Edwin Poots announced that Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan was his nomination to take on the top government job after he controversially broke with tradition and forced himself from the position.

But he also revealed that he is replacing the education and economics ministers who served under Ms Foster during a series of announcements in Stormont’s Great Hall on Tuesday.

Ms Foster, who was ousted as DUP leader after an internal uprising against her moderate social policies, is expected to resign early next week.

The new appointments come as the DUP has been shaken by a number of further resignations linked to how Mr Poots was elected leader following the ‘coup’ against his predecessor.

Diane Dodds, one of the ministers replaced today, expressed disappointment at the announcements.

In a tweet, retweeted by Ms Foster and former lead contender Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, she said: “However, it is regrettable that the new team announced today does not match the rhetoric about healing and bringing the party together.”

DUP leader Edwin Poots (background) announced today that Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan (foreground) was his nomination to take on the top government job after controversially breaking with tradition and driving himself out of the post.

DUP leader Edwin Poots (background) announced today that Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan (foreground) was his nomination to take on the top government job after controversially breaking with tradition and driving himself out of the post.

Ms Foster, who was ousted as DUP leader after an internal uprising against her moderate social policies, is expected to resign early next week.

Ms Foster, who was ousted as DUP leader after an internal uprising against her moderate social policies, is expected to resign early next week.

Ms Foster, who was ousted as DUP leader after an internal uprising against her moderate social policies, is expected to resign early next week.

Mr Givan said: 'This position comes with a huge responsibility, especially in serving the people of Northern Ireland.'

Mr Givan said: 'This position comes with a huge responsibility, especially in serving the people of Northern Ireland.'

Mr Givan said: ‘This position comes with a huge responsibility, especially in serving the people of Northern Ireland.’

A re-appointment process involving Sinn Fein will need to be undertaken before Mr Givan takes office.

When Ms Foster resigns as Prime Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill is automatically relieved of her post as well – as the joint office can only function if both positions are filled.

Both sides must then rename their respective Prime and Deputy Prime Ministers within seven days.

If either party refuses to reappoint, no functioning executive can be formed and a quick election becomes likely.

Mr Poots unveiled Mr Givan as a candidate for Prime Minister, paid tribute to Ms Foster and thanked her for the ‘excellent job’ she had done.

When Ms Foster resigns as Prime Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O'Neill is automatically relieved of her post as well - as the joint office can only function if both positions are filled.

When Ms Foster resigns as Prime Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O'Neill is automatically relieved of her post as well - as the joint office can only function if both positions are filled.

When Ms Foster resigns as Prime Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill is automatically relieved of her post as well – as the joint office can only function if both positions are filled.

He also appointed Gary Middleton as Deputy Secretary.

Paul Frew replaces Diane Dodds as Secretary of the Economy, while Michelle McIlveen replaces Peter Weir in Education.

Mr Weir tweeted: “There are some great appointments but disappointed to leave teaching, and in the balance of appointments it is sad that there is little sign of healing or reaching out.”

The ministerial roles will be designated at this stage, and the appointments will take effect from Monday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ms Foster previously indicated that she will resign if Mr Poots appoints a new ministerial team.

But Mr Poots said Ms Foster will stay on as Prime Minister to chair a British-Irish Council meeting in her own Fermanagh constituency on Friday.

Mr. Poots began his reshuffle of Stormont posts by announcing new chairmen and vice-chairmen of a number of committees.

Flanked by the new appointments and deputy party leader Paula Bradley, Mr Poots named his new team.

Among them are Christopher Stalford as chief deputy speaker and vice chair of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, Tom Buchanan as Vice Chair of Procedures, Keith Buchanan as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and Gordon Lyons as Vice Chair of the Health Committee.

Mr. Poots also unveiled David Hilditch as Vice Chair of the Infrastructure Committee and William Irwin as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee.

Pam Cameron becomes chairman of the assembly and executive review committee.

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has been appointed chairman of the justice committee and Jonathan Buckley will assume the role of chairman of the infrastructure committee.

DUP Deputy Leader Ms. Bradley has been appointed Chair of the Communities Committee and William Humphreys Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

(From left to right) NI Justice Minister Naomi Long, Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O'Neill, Prime Minister Arlene Foster, and NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon

(From left to right) NI Justice Minister Naomi Long, Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O'Neill, Prime Minister Arlene Foster, and NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon

(From left to right) NI Justice Minister Naomi Long, Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill, Prime Minister Arlene Foster, and NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon

South Down DUP constituency association chair and councilor Glynn Hanna, his daughter Diane Forsythe, association member Richard McKee and councilor Kathryn Owen all announced their resignations this week.

The last to quit is a member of the Upper Bann association Roberta McNally.

In her social media resignation statement, Ms McNally referred to scenes during a party board meeting to endorse Mr Poots as leader last month.

“I attended the meeting myself and I also saw senior members telling people to lay down their hands to allow the vote,” she said.

“Obviously those of us who raised our hands were noticed.

“The arrogance of some high-ranking members at the meeting was astounding.

“Personally, I have enjoyed my time with the DUP so far and it has been a great privilege to be elected to the board.

“I am very sorry to say that I informed the Upper Bann chairman of my resignation.”

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