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Poots survives a hesitant start to confound his critics

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It has been a stormy first week for Edwin Poots as the new leader of the DUP. His ratification as leader by the DUP executive was a baptism of fire and one which he would probably like to forget.

He has also had to deal with the shock resignations of three councillors and has been the target of crossfire from both a fiercely critical Peter Robinson and the serially angry Jim Allister, who has accused him of rolling over to Sinn Fein.

Yet, despite all that has happened, Poots has taken the media by surprise. The media consensus was that this new leader would adopt a hard line and bring the Assembly to the brink of collapse with the possibility of an early election, because of his hostile attitude to measures such as an Irish language Act.

But Poots didn’t conform to the media’s shallow caricature and confounded these dire predictions.
In relation to an Irish Language Act, he reassured Sinn Fein that he would proceed with what was agreed in the New Deal, New Decade document — one which he was personally involved in preparing.

Strictly speaking, the nuanced New Deal, New Decade document deliberately does not use the term “Irish Language Act”, presumably in order to spare the DUP’s blushes.

The substance of the proposed cultural measures is........

© Belfast Telegraph

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