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Live Reporting

Chris Andrews and Luke Sproule

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    Edwin Poots

    Thank you for joining us for live coverage of the DUP leadership election result.

    Edwin Poots, a long-time DUP councillor, MLA and minister is to become the party's fourth leader in the DUP's 50th year.

    Paula Bradley will be the party's next deputy leader.

    For continuing coverage, please follow the BBC News NI website.

  2. Cancelled interviews caught many by surprise

    Enda McClafferty

    BBC News NI political editor

    His election caught many within his own party by surprise.

    The decision then to cancel, at the last minute, interviews that he had agreed to carry out this afternoon caught many of us by surprise.

    We do know that Edwin Poots is very much his own man, he demonstrated that pretty clearly around the executive table often going off on solo runs against the wishes of the party leadership.

    We are being told that he may not even do any interviews over the weekend, that it might be next week before we get a chance to question the new DUP leader.

  3. Edwin Poots has 'responsibility' to work with other parties - Conor Murphy

    Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy says he wishes Edwin Poots and Paula Bradley well in their new roles, but they have a responsibility to work with the other executive parties.

    He tells BBC Newsline: "Regardless of who leads the DUP they face the same challenges the rest of us face and the only way to deal with those is actually to cooperate together, to work together and honour agreements that we made."

    Conor Murphy

    Asked if Sinn Féin were concerned that the DUP's engagement with north-south bodies could be difficult because of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Murphy says he expects "everyone to fulfil their obligations under the Good Friday Agreement".

    Mr Murphy says all of the parties face challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, and the provisions for public services.

  4. DUP cancels BBC Newsline interview

    Analysis of the DUP leadership election is coming up on BBC Newsline on BBC One NI from 18:30 BST.

    Sinn Féin will give its reaction to the result and we'll hear from our Political Editor Enda McClafferty among others.

    However, a planned interview with the new DUP leader designate Edwin Poots was cancelled by the party this afternoon.

  5. Watch: Edwin Poots makes his victory speech

    Video content

    Video caption: DUP: Edwin Poots elected new party leader
  6. Poots plans to speak with NI secretary this evening

    Edwin Poots says he plans to speak with NI Secretary Brandon Lewis this evening and hopes to meet him next week in Belfast to discuss unionist opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Speaking at the statue of former unionist leader Edward Carson in the Stormont Estate, Mr Poots says he is "delighted" at the election of Paula Bradley as deputy leader.

    Edwin Poots

    The DUP leader designate says his agenda will be to "reform, to inspire, and reinvigorate unionism".

    "The work has now started," he tells the media.

  7. Analysis: Power base shifts back to Stormont

    Jayne McCormack

    BBC News NI political reporter

    There has been concern in the past that it looked like the DUP's Westminster grouping seemed to have too much power and too much sway.

    Clearly this is a signal that they want the power base shifted back to Stormont and that is what is going to happen from the end of the month.

    For Edwin Poots, this has been a lifelong ambition for him. He is steeped in the DUP.

    His father is a DUP founding member. He is also a Free Presbyterian.

    He has talked about reform being one of his key policies and clearly that has won some of those undecided DUP politicians over, in terms of getting behind him.

    There has been a concern in recent years that some of the establishment and key central figures within DUP HQ held too much power.

    He obviously wants to oversee all of that and that has been what he's promised them. Clearly the pitch has paid off.

    The result of this also shows that there is still a split in the party.

    Some of those within Sir Jeffrey's camp are incredibly disappointed and very shocked by the result.

    They were quietly confident that they were going to edge it.

  8. Other parties react to leadership vote

    MPs and assembly members from other parties have been giving their reaction to Edwin Poots being elected as DUP leader.

    Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader Jim Allister says "it's not about the personalities, it's about the policies".

    He says the defining issue is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he says Mr Poots has helped to implement as a Stormont minister.

    Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry offers his "congratulations" to Mr Poots.

    "The success of Northern Ireland depends on all parties working together in partnership, delivering on existing commitments and achieving new common goals," he writes on Twitter.

    SDLP MLA Pat Catney says he knows Lagan Valley representatives Edwin Poots and his supporter Paul Givan "well", but explains "their vision of the future scares me".

    "I want to build a shared homeplace, where compassion and understanding unite us all, not mistrust and division," he tweets.

  9. Questions for Edwin Poots


    The outgoing leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Steve Aiken, has congratulated Edwin Poots on his election but his press release also contains three questions for the new DUP leader about his involvement in the introduction the Irish Sea border.

    He says: "Edwin may try to signal his election as a new era for the DUP following Arlene [Foster's] resignation, but no matter what way you look at it, his fingerprints are all over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    “If the new DUP leader wishes to present the image of a ‘new’ approach, he owes us all an explanation as to how his party`s squandering of their transient period of influence has resulted in the damaging position we now find ourselves in.

    "Regrettably, the so-called stewardship of the union in the DUP’s hands has been an abject failure – not just for unionism but for all the people of Northern Ireland.”

  10. DUP policies 'will not change' - Sammy Wilson

    DUP MP Sammy Wilson says he "wishes Edwin well" and believes the party will "unite behind" both Mr Poots and Paula Bradley.

    The East Antrim representative says the new leadership will have his "full support", however, he was not prepared to reveal who he voted for.

    Sammy Wilson

    He tells the BBC's Evening Extra he "wouldn't read too much" into the lack of reference to outgoing leader Arlene Foster in the victory speech made by Edwin Poots.

    Mr Wilson says Mrs Foster "served the party well, she led us to a number of significant victories".

    The MP adds that the party's policies and commitment to the union "will not change".

    "It's not who leads a party which is important, it's the policies which they pursue which are going to impact on people's lives."

  11. Edwin Poots - a leader steeped in the DUP's history

    Edwin Poots

    Edwin Poots has been in frontline politics for almost three decades and his father was one of the DUP's founding members.

    But it has been a long rise to the top of the party ranks for Mr Poots.

    Born in May 1965 in Lisburn, County Antrim, he studied at Greenmount Agricultural College - farming being his first interest, which has stood him in good stead at Stormont.

    A former councillor in Lisburn, he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time in 1998.

    It was then he first came to prominence when he opposed the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement.

    Read more here.

  12. 'Edwin Poots must prepare for change'

    Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has wished Edwin Poots well following his election and called for a "unity of purpose and ambition" facing the challenges ahead.

    She says: “We need to build the economy and get people back to work, support the health service and meet the challenge of reducing waiting lists, deliver ambitious housing plans and we must deliver on agreements which bring about the political change and social reform the public rightly expect and require.

    “The incoming leader of the DUP faces a new political landscape in the north, across the island and indeed between our two islands. Change is happening and we need to prepare for it."

  13. 'Party must come together' - Gregory Campbell

    East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell congratulates Edwin Poots and Paula Bradley on their successes in the leadership votes.

    The defeated candidate for deputy leader says the party must "come together and present a vision and a view of the future".


    Mr Campbell adds that the DUP must avoid being "veered off in one direction or another".

    "We must continue to call out those who breach regulations and try to rewrite the past, while at the same time building a better future for everybody in this country, whether those people agree with us or disagree with us."

  14. Donaldson congratulates 'friend and colleague' Edwin Poots

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson congratulates his "friend and constituency colleague" Edwin Poots on his victory in the DUP leadership race.

    The Lagan Valley MP says he respects that party representatives "have made their choice".

    Jeffrey Donaldson

    "What we sought to do was to offer the party a choice and I have no regrets about putting my name forward," Sir Jeffrey says.

    "Now the party must consider what that means for our way forward, what it means for the union that we all cherish and what it means for Northern Ireland, this place that is my home, a place that I love."

  15. 'A great honour' - Paula Bradley

    The newly-elected DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley says "it will be a great honour to serve this great party".

    The North Belfast MLA says she will support Edwin Poots as leader "in any way I can", but may also be a "critical friend".


    "I look forward to the challenge ahead," she explains.

    "I think if we remain focused and we remain grounded within our communities and know those issues that our communities have to face then we can meet that challenge and can rise to that challenge."

  16. Two votes between Poots and Donaldson

    election results
  17. 'No more unionist bickering'

    Edwin Poots says he wants to see "unionism working together", particularly to deal with the "challenges" posed by the Brexit deal and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    The newly elected DUP leader says the protocol is "a massive challenge for us".


    He says he does not want to "have the unionist bickering that we have had in the past".

    This, Mr Poots says, would help "set the foundations in this 2021 for another hundred years of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom".

  18. 'An immense honour' - Edwin Poots

    The newly elected DUP leader Edwin Poots says it is "an immense honour" to be chosen for the role and makes reference to Northern Ireland's centenary in his acceptance speech.

    "I am looking forward to a positive relationship right across Northern Ireland and with my party colleagues and indeed with people from other parties," he said in his victory speech.

    "The opportunities for us to make Northern Ireland a great place after this hundred years has passed and we move into a new hundred years are immense."


    Mr Poots says the DUP will be the "authentic voice of unionism" under his leadership.

    He thanks God for giving him "strength" and his family for their support during his years in politics.