Biggest Northern Ireland unionist party endorses new leader

LONDON (AP) — Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has formally endorsed Jeffrey Donaldson as its new leader. It’s a position that will likely see him become the country’s first minister. Donaldson received 32 votes of the party’s 36-strong electoral college. The body is made up of the party’s 28 lawmakers in the Northern Ireland assembly and its eight members of Parliament in London. The 58-year-old leads the party’s caucus in the U.K. Parliament and he was the sole candidate in the election. The vote followed a chaotic two months for Northern Ireland’s largest party. Donaldson has made clear his intent to return from London to Belfast to assume the first minister’s job. But the timeline for that move remains unclear.