Advertisement

Analysis: DUP in disarray after Sir Jeffrey Donaldson's resignation

It takes something to shake Northern Ireland's battle hardened political landscape - but this has.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was at the peak of his powers. He steered his party back into Stormont in the face of opposition of many of his own MPs and peers.

But now his political career appears to be over and his party has been left in disarray.

It was a political bombshell like no other in Northern Ireland.

Gavin Robinson has now stepped up and will attempt to steady the party which has been rocked by the allegations facing its former leader.

That task will be a challenge as the party is still carrying the wounds from previous internal battles.

As a close ally of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the new interim leader was heavily involved in negotiating the deal which paved the way for Stormont's return.

His priority will be to ensure the power sharing institutions survive this latest DUP crisis.

Mindful of the potential risks to Stormont, Sinn Fein First Minister Michelle O'Neill warned that the Executive must continue to deliver for the whole community.

A coded warning to the DUP to look beyond its own internal challenges and keep the bigger political prize in view.

The hope will be by the time MLAs return from the Easter break, there will be little time to reflect on the political earthquake which stunned Northern Ireland and effectively ended the career of one of its best known politicians.