ARLENE FOSTER'S time as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) could be coming to an end as the majority of elected officials have signed a letter of no confidence against her.
The DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister suffered a blow yesterday as it was revealed that a large number of elected DUP officials, including MPs, MLAs and Lords, signed a letter stating they had no confidence in her leadership skills.
Reports indicate that up to 22 of the party's 28 Stormont Assembly members-- 78% of all Assembly members-- signed the letter, as well as half of the party's Westminster MPs.
According to RTÉ News, should these numbers be confirmed it could trigger a leadership contest, bringing Ms Foster's five-year tenure as leader of the DUP to an end.
The Northern Ireland Protocol and Brexit fall-out, as well as Westminster relaxing abortion laws in the north, and Ms Foster abstaining from a vote on gay conversion therapy, are some of the reasons her party appear to have turned against her, reports say.
The DUP have issued a statement on the matter, and while they did not deny that a letter no confidence had been signed, they stated simply that its democratic electoral processes were an internal matter and would not comment further.
It is unclear whether Ms Foster would fight a leadership challenge should one be called; should she decide to step down, the DUP would have seven days to nominate a new First Minister of Northern Ireland.