Political news

Poots predicted Robinson's departure last year

Lagan Valley assembly member Edwin Poots. Picture by Mal McCann

FORMER DUP health minister Edwin Poots suggested last year his party leader was set to step down.

During speculation over Mr Robinson's future in September 2014, the Lagan Valley MLA appeared reluctant to voice his support for the first minister.

In an interview with BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show, Mr Poots caused a storm when he said he expected Mr Robinson to step down before the next assembly election.

"I already knew that it wasn't the intention that Peter would stay on... that's public knowledge," he said.

Elsewhere in the same interview Mr Poots said: "He referred to months, and months is generally taken as less than a year."

Mr Robinson said at the time: "Neither now, nor before the assembly election, have I any plans to stand down."

He added: "When I decide such a moment has arrived, I will be the one to make the announcement."

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