The nominations to succeed Edwin Poots as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party closed with just one candidate – Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.
It means Sir Jeffrey’s name will be the only one put forward to the party’s electoral college which is due to meet on Saturday.
Following an internal revolt, Edwin Poots resigned on Thursday, leaving the DUP looking for its third leader in less than a month. Candidates for the position had to submit their names to party chairman Lord Morrow, backed by a proposer and a seconder. The vacancy as leader came after the resignation of Edwin Poots – after he took over from Arlene Foster. In the first leadership contest held on 14th May, Mr Poots defeated Sir Jeffrey by 19 votes to 17.
Once the electoral college has met Sir Jeffrey will then be ratified as leader at a meeting of the DUP executive, which could take place as early as next week. It’s expected he’ll become the party’s fifth leader in its 50-year history.
Sir Jeffrey has already outlined his priorities and has said the number one issue is to find a solution in the post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol.