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Donaldson knows majority of DUP MLAs did not want him

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Life was easier when the DUP waited 37 years between leadership changes, not less than 37 days. How do we assess the Poots 504 hours in charge?

The briefest Northern Ireland party leadership ever was bookended by stormy meetings. The opening, a south Belfast hotel ratification event, descended into a feuding horror show, attempts to re-run the leadership vote accompanied by allegations of intimidation. The ending embraced two rancorous meetings in a single day, anger travelling from Stormont to party HQ in Dundela Avenue. The DUP should make its leadership contests pay-per-view. The party would enjoy unsurpassed wealth.

Poots achieved the extraordinary, managing to lose the support of most of those MLAs who had backed him for the leadership only a few weeks ago. It was astonishing that the DUP leader had not prepared his party to re-accept the Irish language provision of New Decade, New Approach as the inevitable price of avoiding an Assembly election.

As leader, Poots had no choice but to ready the troops for that scenario. Go back to your constituencies and prepare for redundancy otherwise had to be the message. Sinn Fein smelt election blood and was always going to demand an Irish language “win” as the price of cooperation. If Poots could not see that Michelle O’Neill would require what was promised by the British Government 15 years ago, he must be wearing his mask too high on his face.

And it came as no surprise that Secretary of State Brandon........

© Belfast Telegraph

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