Newly-elected leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Edwin Poots, has delayed announcing his ministerial line-up as internal dissent continues to tear apart Northern Ireland’s biggest pro-British party.
Although former DUP leader, Arlene Foster, has been replaced by Poots she still continues in her role as Northern Ireland’s First Minister until the end of June.
However, Foster has indicated she is prepared to resign before the end of the month if Poots changes the current ministerial team.
Foster’s resignation will trigger an automatic seven-day countdown for the roles of first and deputy first ministers to be filled.
For his part, Poots claims he is working to get the “right team, with the right balance”.
"There will be lots of people coming into the team who previously haven't been utilized before and there will be others who will be utilized in different ways", Poots added.
However, despite the upbeat assessment, Poots continues to indulge in prevarication by adding: “I didn't give any indication of when I intend to announce my ministers … that is something I will do when I am ready to do it”.
Poots’ delay in announcing a ministerial line-up comes on the heels of a highly tense meeting last week to ratify Poots’ leadership of the DUP.
His endorsement as leader was met by raucous anger by some senior DUP members who were upset about the speedy and ruthless ouster of Foster.
Four senior DUP members left the meeting before its conclusion, while former chairman of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone association of the party, Paul Bell, announced his resignation.