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Sport Paul Givan Elected as North Ireland's New Leader, First Change Since 2015

11:10  09 june  2021
11:10  09 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

Paul Givan to become Northern Ireland's new leader

  Paul Givan to become Northern Ireland's new leader LONDON (AP) — Lawmaker Paul Givan is to become the new first minister of Northern Ireland, replacing Arlene Foster, who had been in post since 2015 and through the Brexit dramas of the past few years. The recently elected leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Edwin Poots, revealed Givan's appointment while unveiling his team in Belfast on Tuesday. The new ministers, including the 39-year-old Givan, a former communities minister, will take up their posts on Monday.“There is a huge responsibility that comes with this position, particularly in serving the people of Northern Ireland," he said.

Paul Givan will replace Arlene Foster as Northern Ireland's first minister, marking the first shift in the position's leadership since 2015.

Paul Givan, Micheal Martin are posing for a picture: Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin (R) meets with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Edwin Poots (L) and Democratic Unionist Party MLA Paul Givan at the Government Buildings on June 3, 2021 in Dublin, Ireland. Mr Poots, who recently replaced Arlene Foster as the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, has been a harsh critic of the Northern Ireland Protocol that regulates post-Brexit trade between Northern Ireland, Ireland and the rest of the EU single market. © Julien Behal/Getty Images Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin (R) meets with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Edwin Poots (L) and Democratic Unionist Party MLA Paul Givan at the Government Buildings on June 3, 2021 in Dublin, Ireland. Mr Poots, who recently replaced Arlene Foster as the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, has been a harsh critic of the Northern Ireland Protocol that regulates post-Brexit trade between Northern Ireland, Ireland and the rest of the EU single market.

Edwin Poots, the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) newly elected leader, affirmed Givan's selection on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The 39-year old Givan and Poots' other appointed ministers will begin work in their new positions on Monday.

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"There is a huge responsibility that comes with this position, particularly in serving the people of Northern Ireland," Poots said.

Poots is a religious conservative who served as agriculture minister for the Northern Ireland Assembly in the past. His Christian fundamentalist and creationist views mirror the philosophy of DUP founder Rev. Ian Paisley, the Associated Press reported.

Poots prevailed in May's DUP election and previously announced that, as party leader, he would not also be taking the first minister post. He thanked Foster, who resigned from her dual posts of party leader and first minister in April following Brexit backlash within the DUP, for her "excellent work."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

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The party, which is rooted in the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church, opposed Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord. It later became reconciled to it and has shared power with the Irish Republican Army-linked party Sinn Fein.

The power-sharing relationship has often been strained and the Belfast administration was suspended for almost three years beginning in 2017 after it collapsed over a botched green energy project.


Video: Paul Givan nominated as Northern Ireland’s new First Minister (PA Media)

However, it is Britain's economic split from the European Union at the end of 2020 that has really shaken the political balance in Northern Ireland, a part of the U.K. where some people identify as British and some as Irish.

Post-Brexit trade rules have imposed customs and border checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The arrangement was designed to avoid checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an EU member, because an open Irish border has helped underpin the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

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The new arrangements have angered Northern Ireland's British unionists, who say the new checks amount to a border in the Irish Sea, weaken ties with the rest of the U.K. and could bolster calls for Irish reunification.

Tensions over the new rules contributed to a week of street violence in Northern Ireland cities in April that saw youths pelt police with bricks, fireworks and firebombs.

Foster faced the wrath of party members for backing the Brexit divorce agreement that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck with the EU. She quit amid a party push to oust her.

Arlene Foster et al. in a blue shirt: Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (R), Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill (L) hold a press conference after touring the provinces largest Covid-19 vaccination centre as it opens at the Odyssey SSE Arena on March 29, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images © Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (R), Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill (L) hold a press conference after touring the provinces largest Covid-19 vaccination centre as it opens at the Odyssey SSE Arena on March 29, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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N.Ireland parties agree on new First Minister, staving off fresh crisis .
N.Ireland parties agree on new First Minister, staving off fresh crisisFoster resigned on Monday following her ousting as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Her successor, Edwin Poots, is seeking to nominate his social conservative colleague Paul Givan to take over as first minister and has until Monday to secure support of other parties in the power-sharing government.

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