Northern Ireland DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson to resign after police charges | Political Affairs

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Media reports say the charges against the Democratic Unionist Party leader are related to “non-recent sex crimes”.

The leader of Northern Ireland’s largest party, Jeffrey Donaldson, has resigned after confirming that he has been accused of “historical wrongdoing”, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said.

“In accordance with party policy, party officials have suspended Mr Donaldson as a member, pending the outcome of the courts,” a DUP statement said on Friday.

The statement also added that the party officials agreed to appoint Mr. Gavin Robinson, who is another member of the DUP parliament in the United Kingdom, to be the leader of the party.

Although the DUP did not give a reason for the 61-year-old’s resignation, many media reported that Mr Donaldson’s resignation was linked to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) announcement of two arrests.

“A 61-year-old man has been charged in connection with recent offences,” the PSNI said.

“A 57-year-old woman was also arrested and charged at the time with being an accessory to other crimes.

“Both are due to appear at Newry Magistrates’ Court on April 24,” it added.

British police are not releasing the names of the suspects.

Meanwhile, all of Donaldson’s accounts appear to have been deleted on Friday, with his handle on X’s page displaying the message “This account does not exist”.

‘Big mistakes’

His resignation comes at a time of upheaval in the DUP as the party tries to improve its relationship with the UK, which is expected to hold an election later this year.

Last month, Donaldson struck a deal with the UK government that ended the DUP’s two-year rule boycott A member of Britain’s power-sharing assembly at Stormont and expected to lead his party in the next UK general election.

Donaldson, is one of Britain’s most prominent regional politicians and is the longest-serving member of the Northern Ireland Parliament, having been elected for the first time in 1997. He was also a member of the Northern Irish Council. Assembly.

However, as a member of parliament in London, he has no role in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government, a key part of the 1998 regional peace deal that resumed last month after a two-year suspension.

After Donaldson’s sudden resignation, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Michelle O’Neill said the power-sharing government was focused on delivering what it wanted.

“My priority is to continue to deliver the leadership that people expect and deserve, and to ensure that the four-party coalition delivers across our region now and into the future,” said O’Neill, whose Irish party Sinn Fein. they have to share power with the DUP.

“The leader of the DUP has resigned after being accused of a serious crime. Now this is a matter for the judges. “

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