The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Edwin Poots, faced a major revolt on Thursday just weeks after taking charge as he defied an overwhelming party vote and nominated a new head of the regional government. He appointed party ally Paul Givan to replace Arlene Foster as Northern Ireland’s First Minister despite DUP lawmakers objecting to a condition of the appointment accepted by Poots – a British government promise to introduce legislation to give additional rights for Irish language speakers if the local assembly fails to do so. While London’s commitment staved off one political crisis – the DUP’s partners in the power-sharing government, Irish nationalist rivals Sinn Fein, had insisted the nomination be accompanied by the legislation – it sparked fresh turmoil within the DUP, the region’s largest pro-British party. The vast majority of Poots’ own lawmakers voted against him going ahead with the nomination just minutes before he entered the assembly chamber and put Givan’s name forward, senior DUP lawmaker Sammy Wilson told BBC Northern Ireland. DUP lawmakers, already angry over the British government agreeing to post-Brexit checks in Northern Ireland, were unhappy that London agreed to introduce the Irish language legislation over the heads of the regional Belfast assembly as it has previously done with abortion laws also opposed by the party. Anyone who cannot bring their party along with them will find that they are not able to carry on anyhow Sammy Wilson, DUP lawmaker “The feelings in the party were very, very clear. It wasn’t a marginal vote … There shouldn’t have been a nomination,” Wilson said. “Anyone who cannot bring their party along with them will find that they are not able to carry on anyhow,” Wilson said when asked if Poots should stand down as leader. Brexit dispute between UK and EU over Northern Ireland clouds G7 leaders’ summit Poots has had a turbulent month in charge. A divisive leadership election led to the resignations of some local DUP councillors while two regional ministers he dropped criticised the new appointments as failing to heal the rifts. Sinn Fein and the DUP had agreed to bring in the Irish language laws as part of a political agreement brokered by London and Dublin which restored the executive early last year following three years without a devolved administration. “We have prevented a political vacuum this week and we cannot stand still for one second because the stakes are so high,” Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Fein told the assembly, referring to the twin challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.