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Sam McBride

Jeffrey Donaldson has turned down three vacant MLA seats since becoming DUP leader, and may never return to Stormont

Sam McBride


DUP leader is insulating himself from the risk of devolution not returning after May’s election

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DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson. Pic: Pacemaker

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson. Pic: Pacemaker

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson. Pic: Pacemaker

A key element of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s campaign to be DUP leader – indeed, one of the few areas in which he differed from his rival, Edwin Poots – was that he would return to Stormont and become first minister.

After winning the leadership at the second attempt last June, Sir Jeffrey reiterated that commitment. But something has changed, and the DUP leader now looks increasingly reluctant to give up the Palace of Westminster for the humbler surroundings of Parliament Buildings.


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