Arlene Foster’s ex-adviser says Edwin Poots made ‘monumental mistakes’

Support us and go ad-free

A former special adviser to Arlene Foster has accused Edwin Poots of making “monumental mistakes” in the 24 hours before his resignation.

Poots resigned after just three weeks as leader of the DUP, amid party anger at a UK Government pledge to grant Sinn Féin a key concession on Irish language laws.

Emma Little Pengelly, a former DUP MP and adviser to Mr Poots’ predecessor Arlene Foster, said he had failed to demonstrate the necessary leadership.

She told BBC NI’s The View:

Edwin was clearly very, very keen to take the leadership, there were many in the party unhappy about the way that it was done.

General Election 2019
The DUP’s Emma Little-Pengelly (Liam McBurney/PA)

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It was then over to him then to demonstrate why he felt it was necessary.

What were the changes that he felt needed to happen?

However, over the course of the last two weeks we haven’t seen that – for example in terms of North South relations, the protocol and of course what has happened over the last 24 hours.

She added:

What has happened over the last 24 hours, last night and into today seem to have been monumental mistakes.

Another former adviser to Foster, Lee Reynolds, said Poots should have known that the decision of the UK Government to legislate on the Irish language would not be acceptable to the DUP.

He told BBC Newsnight:

When I heard about it last night, I’m sitting here going ‘This isn’t going to fly’.

There is no point getting people into a room agreeing something that any man on the street could have told you would be dead on arrival.

He said Poots did not possess the “political goodwill” to survive the deal. He said:

The simple reality is that there are always compromises in any agreement. And you need political capital and you need political goodwill to deliver on those

That is just a central reality to Northern Ireland politics in 2021.

The protocol and its impacts have made the well of political goodwill empty. It has cleaned out the unionist bank account of capital to spend on this, and that is a core problem.

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. It is clear that Westminster intends to introduce an Irish Language Act. Not only is this the right thing to do given the fact that an intransigent minority (albeit it a big one) have been vetoing it out of bigotry, but also because, President Biden’s attitude towards Ireland and ‘loyalist’ intransigence is clear.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.