On one thing MPs are agreed: the EU need to show greater flexibility. So is the Protocol Bill only “displacement activity?”

The mouse didn’t roar as the House of Commons sent the Protocol Bill on its way yesterday. “Only if enacted” said an uncharacteristically strident Jeffrey Donaldson, would the DUP go back to Stormont, advancing the curious argument that the Protocol Bill would “give back to the elected representatives in Northern Ireland the power to take the decisions that they have not been able to take.”(It would give them to Westminster not Stormont). Most MPs including the Conservatives who spoke, were …

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Are the DUP the new abstentionists of Northern Irish politics?

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s announcement this week that the DUP will not go back into government in Northern Ireland until the NI Protocol is removed will not come as a shock, but it will come as a hammer blow to many ordinary people who rely on the support from Stormont. Throughout the Assembly elections Sir Jeffrey, and his colleagues in the DUP, made it crystal-clear that unless the British Government took decisive action on the protocol there would be dire consequences …

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Emma Little-Pengelly to take Jeffrey Donaldson’s Assembly seat…

It seems Sir Jeff prefers the bright lights of London. Only five days after getting elected to Lagan Valley he has decided he would rather stay an MP, thank you very much. All this might be a bit of a shock to the good people of Lagan Valley who voted for one person and got someone entirely different. But those are the rules. Emma Little-Pengelly was gracious enough to take part in our election event last week and she went …

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Incoherence in Westminster is just as great as chaos in Stormont

To use a well known term from political science, we seem to be in a right bugger’s muddle. Brinkmanship is the order of the day. Wobbling on the cliff edge is Liz Truss the foreign secretary, threatening to bring in legislation to allow business to disregard EU rules on GB-NI trade as early as next week. She argues  that existing  EU concessions would “ make things worse.” It focuses on the fact that grace periods mean the protocol is not …

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Jeffrey Donaldson was approached with an offer to rejoin the UUP…

The Nolan Show has discovered that after losing the DUP leadership election to Edwin Poots Jeffrey Donaldson was approached by Doug Beattie to rejoin the UUP. On @BBCNolan today – More on the story #NolanLIVE broke last night when we revealed Sir Jeffrey Donaldson engaged in talks with the UUP, when he was asked by Doug Beattie to join the party 📻 @bbcradioulster 🎧 @BBCSounds 📞 03030805555 | 📲 81771 pic.twitter.com/izVJcCG42w — Stephen Nolan (@StephenNolan) February 24, 2022 Jeffrey does …

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Government accused of #JeffreyMandering by changing the rules to let MPs also be MLAs…

The government is proposing the temporary return of dual mandates, MPs can also run as MLAs. This is being widely seen as a move to enable Jeffrey Donaldson to become an MLA but he can also maintain his MP status. His Lagan Valley seat is seen as vulnerable to Alliance so the DUP are doing all they can to avoid a by-election. Blatant Jeffrey Mandering and *all* politicians should call it for what it is. Democracy cannot be à la …

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Confidence, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and the NI Protocol…

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has threatened to pull down Stormont and said the NI Protocol is undermining confidence in devolution, but how can we define this confidence? Confidence, in general, is a mysterious commodity. One minute we seem to have it in abundance and the next – just when we need it the most – seems to melt away like a Mr Whippy on a scorching hot day. If we want to increase our self-confidence we might want to obtain some …

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Bluff or confrontation is the looming choice, as pressures mount over the NI Protocol

Over the Protocol, somebody’s bluff will be called over the next few weeks. But whose? If he’s to be believed Jeffrey Donaldson has just announced that if the EU doesn’t concede the abolition of most inspections at the ports, the DUP will quit the Assembly. The immediate withdrawal of DUP ministers from north-south bodies except over Covid liaison is the warning shot across the bows. Donaldson’s threats deliberately coincide with the visit of EU vice president Maroš Šefčovič to address …

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Jeffrey Donaldson – The mouse that roared…

There is no stranger sight than the famously mild-mannered Jeffrey Donaldson trying to play the hard man. This morning he gave a speech threatening to quit Stormont and trigger a fresh election “within weeks” if their demands over the NI Protocol are not met. At the start of the week, I heard a rumour that the DUP wanted to crash the Assembly to prevent SF from getting the First Minister position. I thought it was a bit fanciful but three …

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Hain accuses Johnson, Cameron, May of NI ‘neglect’ – and Foster for ‘lapdog’ tendency

Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron must accept part of the responsibility for the continuing “gridlock” of politics in Northern Ireland, through their failure to engage in the political process here, argues former Labour secretary of state Peter Hain. He also allocates blame to Conservative secretaries of state, with the exception of Julian Smith.  Hain says that prime ministers must recognise that their role includes strong engagement with the Northern Ireland parties, in order to keep political progress on track. “You …

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Political legacy of distrust cannot be wished away, says Donaldson 

The distrust between Northern Ireland’s political parties remains a legacy of the conflict and cannot be wished away or ignored, says DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson. He adds that the events of the Bobby Storey funeral and commemorations of dead members of the Provisional IRA mean that the Troubles remain a continuing source of tension between the largest parties. He was speaking in the latest Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast.   Jeffrey argues that not only are the British government’s legacy proposals …

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Five challenges for the new DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson…

After Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was formally endorsed as the next DUP leader on Saturday, it’s becoming clearer that not much else has changed apart from the headman. Questions remain regarding how they can revive the political beast that has managed to stay at the top of Northern Ireland politics for close to two decades. The following are five evident challenges that Sir Jeffrey and the rest of his party must tackle in the coming weeks and months. Uniting the party …

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Jeffrey Donaldson elected new leader of the DUP…

Can he beat the previous record of 21 days? Will he be the First Minister? Popcorn at the ready… https://t.co/iNLMC6xsBe pic.twitter.com/dgAN09b2U0 — DUP (@duponline) June 22, 2021 Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff.

SluggerTV – the DUP melodrama episode

Commentators Tim Cairns and Sarah Creighton joined Slugger O’Toole’s deputy editor David McCann to discuss the dramatic loss of a second leader and the challenges ahead for the DUP in the latest episode of SluggerTV. What tipped the balance to end Edwin Poots’ leadership? How will the next leader be different? If there’s a by-election in Lagan Valley, might Brenda Hale run for the DUP, and what about the chances of Alliance’s Sorcha Eastwood and UUP’s Robbie Butler? What’s Edwin …

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DUP Leadership Ballot to take place on 14th May

More breaking news tonight – the DUP chairman Lord Morrow has confirmed leadership election will take place Friday 14 May at 11am pic.twitter.com/IDE8rnRNAx — Jayne McCormack (@BBCJayneMcC) May 4, 2021 More from Sam McBride about who  can vote, The key part of the DUP statement on the rules for its first ever leadership contest is not the date (next Friday) or that it will be held virtually, but that it appears to include Jim Wells as part of the electorate …

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Foster expresses deep regret for party’s mistakes over RHI while Boris imagines ‘UKNI’ dystopia but fails to excite DUP activists #DUP18

Read back key sections and listen to speeches from today’s DUP Conference. Arlene Foster apologised for the party’s mistakes over RHI, hinted at a ‘cultural deal’ and expressed her wish for devolution to be restored. Boris Johnson spoke about buses, Brexit and light sabres …

Soapbox: Music Unite – Celebrating Culture

MUSIC CAN UNITE people, cultures, traditions and communities. It is the start of a new flow, a new rhythm that brings people together says CDPB director Jeffrey Donaldson about the ‘Music Unite’ project run jointly with Beyond Skin.