Belfast Telegraph

Sammy Wilson rules himself out of DUP leadership battle

By Noel McAdam

Sammy Wilson is not in the running to become the next DUP leader and is backing Nigel Dodds for the post.

The 62-year-old East Antrim MP said he had considered throwing his hat in the ring before eventually deciding against it.

The former Finance Minister, who stepped down from Stormont to focus on Westminster as part of the drive to end double-jobbing, hinted he had come under pressure to allow his name to be put forward.

"Obviously it's a great honour for people to even think that they would contemplate giving you support," he said.

The DUP's electoral college is to meet this day fortnight to decide on a successor to Peter Robinson, who revealed exclusively in the Belfast Telegraph that his time as party leader and First Minister was coming to an end. The college is comprised of party MPs, MLAs, MEP Diane Dodds and party officers. It has a total membership of 46.

Its recommendation will have to be ratified by the party's 90-strong executive before the new leader is revealed.

The executive is to meet at the Park Avenue Hotel in east Belfast on December 17, a few hours after the electoral college votes.

The new leader will then decide who will take the First Minister job, and the current Finance Minister Arlene Foster appears the most likely candidate.

Belfast Telegraph


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