Nigel Dodds confirms he's stepping down as deputy leader of the DUP

Nigel Dodds.

Q Radio News/PA

Nigel Dodds has confirmed that he will step down as DUP deputy leader.

The former MP for North Belfast was elevated to the House of Lords after losing his seat at the 2019 election.

Lord Dodds has been the target of the same internal party anger that forced leader Arlene Foster to resign last week.

He said he will not be seeking re-election as deputy party leader, a post he has held for 13 years, when that position and the leadership role are voted on next Friday.

In a statement late on Tuesday night, he said: “Following my appointment to the House of Lords I decided that I would be stepping back from my party role whenever the next internal election cycle occurred.

“Since, under the party rules, Peers are not even part of the party’s electoral college for leadership positions, it would be incongruous and inappropriate to do otherwise.

“However I will continue to use my position in Parliament to advance the cause of the Union and to articulate the views of unionists on the future direction of the United Kingdom and on issues affecting Northern Ireland more generally.”

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