Edwin Poots, who has been an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) since 1998, succeeds Arlene Foster who will step down from the role on May 28.
Poots was elected leader as a result of the party’s first ever leadership contest since the party began in 1971, gaining more votes than Sir Jeffrey Donaldson who is one of the party’s MP’s in the House of Commons.
It was a close leadership contest with Poots receiving 19 votes in comparison to 17 votes for Donaldson. The electorate consisted of DUP MP’s and members of the Legislative Assembly.
The party also held an election for the role of deputy leader of the DUP which was won by MLA for North Belfast Paula Bradley, also by a narrow margin of 18 votes in comparison to 16 votes for Gregory Campbell, a DUP MP who also ran for the position.
Commenting on his successful leadership bid, Poots, who is also a minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, described being elected leader as “the greatest honour of my life”, and added that he “looks forward to engaging with [his] party executive and wider membership in the days ahead”.
Feature image credit: Edwin Poots Twitter