DUP chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson quits after historic intercourse offence costs | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has stop as chief of the Democratic Unionist Party after being charged with historic intercourse offences.

The 61-year-old politician is because of seem in courtroom in Newry, Co Down, on April 24 having been arrested and charged over non-recent sexual allegations.

A 57-year-old lady has been charged with aiding and abetting extra offences in relation to the identical police investigation.

The Lagan Valley MP has been suspended from the DUP pending the end result of the judicial course of.

East Belfast MP and deputy chief Gavin Robinson has been appointed interim get together chief.

In an announcement, the DUP mentioned: “The party chairman has received a letter from Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP confirming that he has been charged with allegations of an historical nature and indicating that he is stepping down as leader of the DUP with immediate effect.

“In accordance with the get together guidelines, the get together officers have suspended Mr Donaldson from membership, pending the end result of a judicial course of.

“The party officers have this morning unanimously appointed Mr Gavin Robinson MP as the interim party leader.”

There had been hypothesis after Mr Donaldson’s web site and social media accounts, together with on X, Facebook and Instagram, had been deleted in a single day.

The shock announcement comes simply weeks after Sir Jeffrey made the choice to carry the get together again to powersharing in Northern Ireland.

Sir Jeffrey’s management noticed him steer the DUP’s two-year boycott of Northern Ireland’s political establishments in protest over post-Brexit buying and selling preparations.

The get together agreed to return to Stormont in February following the settlement of a brand new deal and a sequence of assurances round Northern Ireland’s constitutional place inside the United Kingdom.

Sir Jeffrey, who has had an virtually 40-year profession in politics, turned DUP chief in July 2021.

His profession began with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and in 1985, aged 22, he was the youngest individual to be elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

His relationship with former UUP chief David Trimble deteriorated when he led a walkout of the 1998 peace talks after opposing the early launch of republican and loyalist prisoners.

He left the get together and joined the DUP in January 2004.

He was recognised by the Queen in her 2016 Birthday Honours and was given a knighthood.