UKIP was trending on Twitter this morning after Edwin Poots stood down as DUP leader after just 21 days in the position.
Edwin Poots resigned after just three weeks as leader of the party amid party anger at a UK Government pledge to grant Sinn Fein a key concession on Irish language laws.
Emma Little Pengelly, a former DUP MP and advisor to Mr Poots’ predecessor Arlene Foster, said he had failed to demonstrate the necessary leadership.
She told BBC NI’s The View: “Edwin was clearly very, very keen to take the leadership, there were many in the party unhappy about the way that it was done.
“It was then over to him then to demonstrate why he felt it was necessary.
“What were the changes that he felt needed to happen?
“However, over the course of the last two weeks we haven’t seen that – for example in terms of North South relations, the protocol and of course what has happened over the last 24 hours.”
She added: “What has happened over the last 24 hours, last night and into today seem to have been monumental mistakes”.
Another former adviser to Ms Foster, Lee Reynolds, said Mr Poots should have known that the decision of the UK Government to legislate on the Irish language would not be acceptable to the DUP.
He told BBC Newsnight: “When I heard about it last night, I’m sitting here going ‘This isn’t going to fly’.
“There is no point getting people into a room agreeing something that any man on the street could have told you would be dead on arrival.”
He said Mr Poots did not possess the “political goodwill” to survive the deal.
“The simple reality is that there are always compromises in any agreement. And you need political capital and you need political goodwill to deliver on those” he said.
“That is just a central reality to Northern Ireland politics in 2021.
“The protocol and its impacts have made the well of political goodwill empty. It has cleaned out the unionist bank account of capital to spend on this, and that is a core problem.”
On Twitter, UKIP was trending following the decision owing to the parallels in leadership turnover.
Here’s what people had to say:
?"It's beginning to feel a lot like UKIP…."? https://t.co/Uh2QLuejwW— Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale) June 17, 2021
The DUP seems to modelling its governance on UKIP’s pic.twitter.com/j6fOG6tWa8— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 17, 2021
Is the DUP the new UKIP? Changing leaders every week?— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) June 17, 2021
Beating even the record of recent UKIP leaders.— David Henig (@DavidHenigUK) June 17, 2021
But one way or other it would be good to see effective leadership for unionism in Northern Ireland. https://t.co/3yPfSouSc2
The saddest thing of all for Edwin Poots is that he’s not even a record-breaker: Diane James was leader of UKIP for 18 days in 2016— jack (@jackalexe) June 17, 2021