Nigel Dodds will NOT be standing for DUP Leader

Just in from UTV

Nigel Dodds says he will NOT be standing for the DUP leadership. Says he believes his focus should be on Westminster.

— Tracey Magee (@Tracey_utv) December 7, 2015

AND from Ken Reid

Statement in from Nigel Dodds;

Following Peter’s announcement that he was stepping down as leader and First Minister I have been giving much prayerful thought to my own position and what is in the best interests of the party.

For a long time I have been consistent in my belief that, with devolution now firmly established in Northern Ireland, I would only put my name forward for leader if I was a member of the Stormont Assembly.

I am previously on record as stating clearly my view about the disadvantage of attempting to lead a modern Northern Ireland party from Westminster when we now have devolved government. Indeed I have previously made my view known in discussions with senior colleagues.

I have been humbled by the expressions of support from many quarters in recent days and therefore have taken time to reflect further.

I remain of the view that being at Westminster means I would not be able to devote the necessary day to day focus and time to the role of leader and, at the same time, properly and fully carry out my duties and responsibilities in the House of Commons.

The work and the opportunities for Northern Ireland at Westminster have already grown significantly and especially recently as a result of the DUP’s position in a House of Commons where the Government has such a small majority. That work and those opportunities are only set to increase over the course of the five years of this Parliamentary term.

I am conscious too that my wife Diane is also fully committed in her work as an MEP.

Whilst in other circumstances it would be natural and a great honour to lead the party, it would be wrong in my current circumstances to put my own personal standing above what I believe to be the long term best interests of the party and the people we serve.

I believe that in the Assembly Arlene Foster is the leader that can take our party and Northern Ireland forward to an even better future.

I will continue to fulfill my duties to the party as Deputy Leader and working together as part of a strong team of DUP representatives at every level we will continue to offer the best opportunity to advance the cause of unionism at Stormont and Westminster.

  • Ernekid

    Will the DUP leadership contest just be a coronation for Arlene Foster then? is anyone else in the running? Will the DUP base accept a leader who used to be in the UUP? It’ll be interesting how Foster will handle the DUP leadership, She might start to pivot the party towards a more centrist unionist position away from the loony Evangelicals who make up a lot of the DUP base in order to challenge the UUP

  • Pete

    Wow, pretty baffling. Nigel Dodds is a much much stronger candidate than Arlene Foster, in my view.

    Looks like a straightforward run for Arlene now.

  • TruthToPower

    As much as I like Arlene, the DUP needs to be led from the right. My vote if I had one would be for Gregory Campbell. He’s not the kind of man to take nonsense and can give the Sinn Fein/IRA party the rough ride they deserve

    In the other hand if Arlene wins and it’s more of the same, then the TUV will benefit. Either way, a win win.

  • the rich get richer

    Whats he up to now ? ! ? ! ?

  • Ernekid

    The DUP could go with Flegory and his Curry my Yoghurt rhetoric but the demographics game and the fact that increasingly the majority of people in NI don’t want to vote for unreconstructed bigots would mean that wouldn’t work out for them in the long run

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    How the more hardline types can’t see this is beyond me.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Either way, a win win”

    Except for unionism which will someday depend on the vote of people born of a Catholic and/or nationalist background.

    Choosing people who repulse said demographic is a pretty self-defeating strategy is it not?

    A house built on a foundation of sand springs to mind.

  • Lorcs1

    A good day for Northern Ireland.

  • ted hagan

    I’m surprised they don’t opt for Martin or Gerry, since the two parties seem so closely entertwined.

  • chrisjones2

    “led from the right”? The DUP?

    Its a socialist party with a veneer of religious extremism man

  • chrisjones2

    or not ………

  • Catcher in the Rye

    This makes sense in a lot of ways, in hindsight.

    Dodds isn’t really interested in the Assembly, or in the minutiae of leading a political party. He obviously enjoys being in Westminster, questioning the Prime Minister and hanging out with the UKIP/Tory right.

    Arlene is obviously capable and enthusiastic. The only black mark against her is that she isn’t dyed-in-the-wool DUP, being ex-UUP. The “dream ticket” could well survive with Arlene as leader and Dodds as deputy …

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I think “unionism” has given up on attracting RC votes.

  • dodrade99

    Perhaps we shouldn’t really be surprised, i’ve heard it from several sources over the years that he had no real interest in the top job.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I have no idea how anyone could call the DUP socialist.

    They have right wing views on marriage equality, the death penalty, immigration, EU membership and so on. They’re disproportionately dominated by quasi-Baptist evangelicals, they maintain close links with business interests especially in the property market, and they often describe themselves as pro-business, pro-tax cuts etc.

    They’re a conservative party in every sense of the word.

  • TruthToPower

    They are unique perhaps in a UK context for letting the will of God shape policies. However godless England seems to be putting pressure on NI to implement all kinds of unspeakable things eg homosexual ‘marriage’, abortion
    And forced gay adoption

    Even the Roman Catholic adoption agency was forced to close due to their unwillingness to submit to sin and give children to homosexual couples

    Devolution in Ulster means doing things Ulster’s way. The DUP are a party of God ( I have grave misgivings about power sharing with murderers) so that’s why I support Mr Campbell.

    I don’t mind the Irish language when spoken by true natives but as far as I see, it is now claimed to be spoken by people who were not brought up in that medium in the first place. People spelling their name in Irish etc never saw that in the past. It’s an IRA cultural agenda at play and that’s why Mr Campbell made the remarks he did.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Alas, it appears so.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Two weeks ago you said to me

    You win if that makes you feel better. I’m off now to make love to a beautiful woman. (link)

    I take it this means you’re just trolling with all this bible bashing talk.

  • chrisjones2

    “for letting the will of God shape policies”

    Which God? He / she only seems to have Commandments 1-5 anyway

  • chrisjones2

    …but financially socialist

  • Granni Trixie

    TTP: If you are referring to the Catholic adoption agency formerly on Ormeau Rd, you are wrong. True a priest sPokes person said this was the case but I know people on the adoption committee who tell me that they went against the Churches wishes as the agency had cases in the pipeline they wamted to progress plus they had not a problem doing business with suitable gay people. Note that they gave up the churches financial support to do so and also moved from parish HQ.

  • Neil

    Gregory? Christ, really? I think the strategically minded in the DUP might not go for that, due to the fact that he’d antagonise and alienate every non Unionist in NI. And some of the Unionists to boot. Also the most offensive things about his jokes is how funny they aren’t.

  • Reader

    Just because he isn’t chaste doesn’t mean he isn’t religious.

  • TruthToPower

    Who says Christians can’t have a sense of humour? I’m not a troll by the way. Nor am I holier than thou in every day life. People think religious people don’t or can’t have fun

  • Zig70

    Extreme views, claims to be a unionist and good grammar. Has to be a taig taking the pi$$.

  • TruthToPower

    Extreme only on forums like this. My views happen to be very mainstream amongst those who don’t interact or post on social media or forums. Don’t be fooled into thinking modish thinking online is the voice of the people. It’s only the voices of a vocal and visible minority that make it seem mainstream.

  • TruthToPower

    Interesting how you define a socialist as not being in favour of death penalty etc.
    Easy trap to fall into considering how Labour have stopped being a a party of the workers and become a party whose policy machinery has been taken over by feminists, academics, multi culturalists and cultural Marxists : people who hold their noses at the sight of a working class person and choose to live in non working class neighbourhoods.

    Not that I blame such people for living where they choose but they are not socialists. They are Maoist social engineers

  • Thomas Barber

    You dont mind the true Irish natives speaking Irish language in this part of Ireland. Thanks very much thats very decent of you.
    Are you from Scotland ?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Not for me to judge of course, but parading sexuality in public doesn’t generally go with parading nakedly homophobic bible bashing.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    they just make decisions that leads to their rich mates getting money via the state. That’s what the Tories do. And unsurprisingly the DUP were in serious discussions with the Tories (not Labour) over a potential deal to grant them supply in a minority government scenario which ultimately never came to pass.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    That’s not how it works. You don’t get to define “socialist”. It’s equally a mistake to assume that a socialist is a person who is concerned with the welfare of the working class.

  • Pete

    The DUP consistently said that they would be willing to work with either Labour or the Conservatives. You can look at numerous interviews from the runup to the General Election 2015 where they stated this.

  • Robin Keogh

    Since when was the will of god homophobic and racist?

  • Robin Keogh

    I hope Arlene gets it. The faces she pulls are hilarious on TV, would love to see more. Aside from that, that he is friendlier to nationalism/republicanism than the other curry and yoghurt heads.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    A pretty smart move by Dodds not walking into the electoral storm that is coming in May for the DUP !

  • Sir Rantsalot

    What do you not like about evangelicals views? What’s looney? Just wondering.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It looks like for the first time since Adams took leadership of Sinn Féin, that all of the the main parties from here will not have a leader who stands to be elected in Belfast.

    Biggest Party from here with a Belfast leader is the PUP who’ve never had a leader from outside of Belfast.

  • chrisjones2

    Oh come on.

    Christians have always been hot on the old fornication thing subject to marriage, in the martial bed and not enjoying it too much (honest Lord – its for your Glory).

    If they hadn’t been there would never have been so many of the buggers!!

  • chrisjones2

    the Chinese are quite left leaning still but they shoot more people, plan to invade other countries, are deeply racist internally and externally, etc etc

  • submariner

    I hope they keep it that way

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Now while I know quite a few complex thinkers who would describe themselves as “evangelical”, I’d imagine that what Ernekid (who can correct me if I’m misrepresenting him) is suggesting would be the local bog standard employer of the term to describe themselves. Such frequently show a penchant for simplistic Bible interpretation favouring a literalism that carefully does not place those portions that contradict one another together. When this “mental climate” is taken over into politics it creates a “difficult questions, easy answers” culture that dumbs down complexity by simply blindsiding it in favour of those “eternal verities” that have frequently not yet been current for even a generation, but have been popularised by new sects and cults that have never begun to develop the more critical mindset centuries have instilled into the older churches.

    I have no problems with what people do inside their own heads, its when they want to start arranging the furniture in my world I begin to worry…..

  • Ernekid

    Well said Seaan and said better than I ever could. 🙂

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you for your kind words. I become incandesent at the bizarre simplifications one encounters from these people. And when this travesty taht ignores a long intellectial tradition’s hard won tolerances and “authorises” their crude social mores as political ideology……..

  • Hugh Davison

    Between Nigel (MP) and Mrs Dodds (MEP) they’re pulling in a fair few bob for not much effort. Who would throw that away?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Yes, but if you re-read what I actually said you’ll note that this wasn’t my point.

  • Greenflag 2

    Mr Campbell’s name in Irish or Scots Gaelic would read Caim Beal which means literally twisted or crooked mouth . Mr Campbell’s ignorance towards his own ancestral tongue is a strong indication that he is part of the past .

    “People spelling their name in Irish etc never saw that in the past.’

    A lot of names in NI are of Irish or Scots Gaelic origin and would have only been anglicised over the past few centuries . The vast majority of placenames and townlands in Scotland and Ireland (North and South ) are of Irish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic origin and have been anglicised to suit English speakers . Another reason you never saw it in the past was because it was illegal to have one’s name written in Irish or Scots Gaelic . The law , government and the economic powers that were refused to recognise them as legitimate .

    Don’t mistake a cultural agenda for an earlier cultural agenda .

  • Greenflag 2

    Good old Allah Akbar eh . You just can’t beat it for creationist policy making and the accompanying beheadings , stonings and self flagellations and hair shirts etc etc .

  • TruthToPower

    I’m sure my name was once spelled in Gaelic but I’m no more interested in resurrecting an ancestral culture than I have of hunting beasts for my Sunday dinner.
    Excepting those for whom Irish is their first language, I am suspicious about the political agenda behind anyone who doesn’t want to speak a global tongue like English.

    Unionists still remember Danny Morrison’s statement about every word of Irish being a bullet.

    perhaps not a bullet anymore but definitely a chisel chipping away at anything British.

  • TruthToPower

    No. Ulster

  • Greenflag 2

    So ditto for anyone speaking Welsh or Scots Gaelic eh . Irish is not a bullet -Its a language and a culture . Get used to it . People are known to speak more than one language -several in fact . Its good for the brain . Unionists remember . Far healthier and saner to forget much of whats remembered.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Those ‘spelling their name in Irish’ are usually merely reverting to the original form of the name. Do you think the originals should have been anglicised in the first place?

  • Greenflag 2

    “the Chinese are quite left leaning”

    China today is more a corporate fascist state minus the paraphernalia of the nazism and fascism of the 1930s. One party government in bed with Chinese and international corporations for their mutual benefit . There is still the Communist Party although how it can continue to call itself that must be to use a term from an earlier thread “excruciatingly difficult line to walk ‘

    As for the DUP ? They are the party of the people -the protestant people of NI – particularly those that fear and abhor any UI .now or in the future . Which is their legitimate right and is accepted as such by the GFA . Whether they will respect ‘democracy ‘ when and if they are voted out of the union is hypothetical at this stage but the signs don’t look good .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Had it been the whole generation, so much better for the nation……”