Following a meeting of party leaders, the Westminster leader of the Democratic Unionist Party was officially recognized as the party’s leader.
The appointment of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was approved on Wednesday evening at the La Mon Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Over the weekend, the 58-year-old Lagan Valley MP garnered the support of most DUP constituency members, MPs and party MPs, receiving the support of all but four of the 36 college members.
Sir Jeffrey said he had spent the past few days talking calmly to party members.
Speaking to the media after receiving party support, Sir Jeffrey said he was humbled by the unanimous approval.
“There are many challenges to overcome, but I am now convinced that the DUP will face these challenges together,” he said.
I am confident that the party will now make progress in the Assembly elections. I want the Democratic Unionist Party to work again to win the election. “
Sir Jeffrey is the fifth leader to lead the DUP in its 50 – year history, and the third in two months.
He will take over after Edwin Boots resigned earlier this month. Boots resigned following an internal party riot over the decision to appoint Paul Givan as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, against the wishes of a majority of MPs and DUP MPs.
Mr Boots became party leader just 21 days after Arlene Foster resigned on May 28 after 75 per cent of MPs and MPs expressed a loss of confidence in his leadership.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Sir Jeffrey acknowledged that his leadership was “an important first step in building the unity of my party, rebuilding my party’s strength and giving Northern Ireland the leadership it needs at the moment.
“We see our party reforming,” he said.
He added that his first priority was to repair the damage caused by the imposition of the Northern Ireland Protocol and that he intended to hold immediate talks with Boris Johnson.
He has made it clear that he wants to return from Westminster and take over as prime minister of Stonemont, but has not set a deadline for changes that would require a by-election in Lagan Valley. Enter the Assembly.
Now he said, Shri. Guan will retain the post of Prime Minister.
Sir Geoffrey will deliver his first speech as party leader on July 1.