Arlene Foster formally steps down as Northern Ireland’s first minister

Arlene Foster formally stepped down as Northern Ireland’s first minister on Monday.

Speaking at the local parliament, Stormont, Foster said she was privileged and honored for holding the post as the country’s leader.

“Mr Speaker, colleagues both inside and outside this House know very well that all periods of leadership must come to an end,” she said.

“That is why, when we are privileged and honored with holding such a position, we must not waste a moment in frivolous brinkmanship but rather forge ahead on behalf of those we represent.”

“Whilst I will miss the exchanges from this seat, I am looking forward to fresh challenges,” Foster added.

Foster resigned as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader in April after her party forced her to leave over fury surrounding the Brexit deal, which aligns Northern Ireland with the EU.

Around 75% of her party’s Northern Ireland Assembly members as well as several of her party’s MPs in the national Westminster parliament signed a letter calling for a new leadership election.

Furthermore, eight of the DUP’s 18 constituency associations submitted letter of concerns over how the leadership was handling key issues.

The key issue was Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol which places a trade border in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Foster, 50, became party leader in December 2015 and stepped down as leader of the DUP on May 28. She is the first woman and youngest person to hold both positions.

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