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government swipe New DUP leader Edwin Poots takes aim at Varadkar and Coveney and says relationship is ‘really, really bad’

He slammed Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney

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Edwin Poots pictured at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast. Photo by: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Edwin Poots pictured at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast. Photo by: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Arlene Foster leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast where the ruling executive of the Democratic Unionist Party are meeting to ratify Edwin Poots as the partyÕs new leader. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Arlene Foster leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast where the ruling executive of the Democratic Unionist Party are meeting to ratify Edwin Poots as the partyÕs new leader. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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Edwin Poots pictured at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast. Photo by: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

The new DUP leader Edwin Poots has slammed Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, saying relationships with Ireland are “really really bad”. 

Speaking last night after he was ratified as leader of the party, Mr Poots took aim at the Tánaiste and Minister Coveney over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

However, the DUP leader said he respects Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Mr Poots appears to have taken issue with an incident from 2018, in which Mr Varadkar brought a copy of the Irish Times newspaper to a European Council meeting in Brussels, to highlight his concerns over the Irish border issue.

That paper had featured a story on its front page about an IRA bombing of a Border customs post in 1972 that left nine people dead.

“They took photographs of blown up border posts to impose upon Northern Ireland people a harshest form of customs, and an internal market that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world was quite frankly disgraceful,” Mr Poots said about Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney.

"They’re going to starve Northern Ireland people of medicines, no less, cancer drugs and other materials such as the food that’s on our table.

"And I’d say that’s a shame on the Irish Government that they done that. And that belongs to Fine Gael under the leadership of Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney.

"So relationships are really, really bad with the Irish Government as a consequence.”

The party’s Executive met last night in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Belfast to formally vote for the new leadership following Arlene Foster’s resignation.

The vote was open ballot and Mr Poots and Paula Bradley were formally ratified as the new DUP leadership.

Before the new DUP gave his speech Ms Foster reportedly walked out of the meeting along with Jeffrey Donaldson, Diane Dodds and Gareth Robinson.

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Arlene Foster leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast where the ruling executive of the Democratic Unionist Party are meeting to ratify Edwin Poots as the partyÕs new leader. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Arlene Foster leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast where the ruling executive of the Democratic Unionist Party are meeting to ratify Edwin Poots as the partyÕs new leader. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Arlene Foster leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast where the ruling executive of the Democratic Unionist Party are meeting to ratify Edwin Poots as the partyÕs new leader. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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Speaking after the meeting last night, Sammy Wilson MP said the change over of any leader whether its the DUP or any other party “will always leave some people bruised”.

He added: “I think all of us in political life find that’s the case...and of course that hurts people, people will get hurt in that case.

“I didn’t always agree with Arlene, and she didn’t always agree with me...but I recognise that she made huge sacrifices and did great things for our party.”

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