Arlene Foster to resign as Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, has announced that she will step down as leader of her party and First Minister of Northern Ireland at the end of June following an internal power struggle.

She cancelled meetings with Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis and Sinn Fein’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill shortly before making the formal announcement of her plans to step down.

Politico reported earlier today that 22 of 27 DUP Assembly members had signed a letter calling for her resignation, along with at least half of the party’s representation in the House of Commons, with one party representative telling that website that she was “a dead woman walking” and blaming growing discontent on “her poor handling of the Northern Ireland protocol”.

In February this site reported on Foster’s involvement in taking legal action against the hated protocol, which has seen the corrupt European Union work to undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom with malicious enforcement of trading rules.

Foster complained then that the EU’s use of the protocol “has driven a coach and horse through both the Act of Union and the Belfast Agreement”, calling for it to be scrapped. But a lack of meaningful change in the situation has lead to growing frustration among unionist politicians, who want to see a firmer line taken.

Announcing her resignation, Foster said: “A short time ago I called the Party Chairman to inform him that I intend to step down as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party on the twenty-eighth of May and as First Minister of Northern Ireland at the end of June.

“It is important to give space over the next few weeks for the Party Officers to make arrangements for the election of a new leader. When elected I will work with the new leader on transition arrangements.”