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Date for Democratic Unionist Party leadership contest set

Leadership hopefuls Edwin Poots MLA and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Chairman, Lord Morrow, has issued a statement on Tuesday evening confirming that meeting of party members to vote for the next party leader will take place on the morning of Friday 14 May 2021.

Leadership hopefuls Edwin Poots MLA and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP have stepped forward to contest what is expected to be a divisive battle to set a new direction and an agenda for reform for the DUP in Northern Ireland.

Party Chairman, Lord Morrow, stated: “Following a meeting of the Party Officers today the following decisions were taken.

The Party Officers have set the date of Friday 14 May at 11am as the date for a meeting and voting to elect a leader and deputy leader.

“The Officers have determined the date for the election in light of the business of reviewing the Covid-19 regulations on Thursday 13th by the Northern Ireland Executive and the need for DUP Ministers to fulfil those obligations and the need for the party to be represented during the business of the Queen’s Speech in Parliament on Wednesday 12th May.

“In accordance with the constitution and rules of the Democratic Unionist Party only party members, who are also members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the House of Commons are entitled to vote for the Leader or Deputy Leader. Details have been sent to all eligible voters.

“The meeting on Friday 14th May will be conducted virtually by the Chairman taking account of the on-going Covid-19 regulations.

“Each nominated candidate for leader of the party will be given ten minutes to speak to the online meeting and each candidate for deputy leader will be given five minutes to speak. Following this online meeting a voting station will open and voting will be by secret ballot.

“We would anticipate an announcement of the outcome at approx. 5pm on Friday 14th May.”