DUP LEADER EDWIN Poots announces Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan will replace Arlene Foster as Northern Ireland’s new First Minister
Poots unveiled the new team during a series of announcements in the Great Hall in Stormont today.
The new ministers will take office on Monday.
Potts revealed Jeevan as the first appointed minister, praised Arlene Foster, thanking her for an “excellent job.”
“There is a huge responsibility that comes with this position, particularly in the service of the people of Northern Ireland,” Jeevan said.
Potts also appointed Gary Middleton as junior minister. Paul Froe has been appointed as the new Northern Ireland Minister of Economy, replacing Diane Dodds.
Michelle McKelvin will be the new Secretary of Education to replace Peter Weir.
Weir tweeted: “There are some great appointments but the disappointment of leaving education, and on the scale of appointments sadly there are little signs of recovery or communication.”
Outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster previously indicated she would be stepping down when Potts appointed a new cabinet team. However, Potts said Foster will remain First Minister to chair the British Irish Council meeting in her constituency in Fermanagh on Friday.
Potts began the reshuffle of Stormont’s posts by announcing new chairs and vice chairs for a number of committees.
They include Christopher Stallford as principal vice chair of the Standards and Privilege Committee, Tom Buchanan as vice president of procedures, Keith Buchanan as vice president of the finance committee, and Gordon Lyons as vice president of the health committee.
Potts also unveiled David Helditch as Vice Chair of the Infrastructure Committee and William Irwin as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee. Pam Cameron will become chair of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee.
North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has been appointed chair of the Justice Committee and Jonathan Buckley will take on the role of chair of the Infrastructure Committee. DUP Deputy Leader Bradley has been appointed Chair of the Communities Committee and William Humphreys is Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
The new appointments come as the DUP has been left reeling by a number of resignations.
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South Down Constituency Assembly President and Board Member Glenn Hanna, his daughter Diane Forsyth, Assemblyman Richard Mackey and Assemblyman Catherine Owen announced their resignations this week.
The latest to resign is Upper Bann Society member Roberta McNally.
In her resignation statement posted on social media, McNally referred to scenes at a party executive meeting to certify Potts as leader last month.
“Having attended the meeting myself, I also saw prominent members asking people to raise their hands so that voting was open,” she said.
“It was obvious that those of us who raised our hands had been noticed. The arrogance of some of the senior members in the meeting was mind-blowing.”
“Personally, thus far, I have enjoyed my time at DUP and it has been a great privilege to be elected to the Executive. I am very sorry to say that I have informed the President of Upper Bann of my resignation.”