Deirdre Heenan: Donaldson finally claims the crown, but does he have a plan?

The new DUP leader knows very well that his demands to abolish the Northern Ireland protocol are utterly unrealistic

Jeffrey Donaldson: does the new DUP leader have the backbone to face down hardline loyalists, the appetite for power-sharing, and the stomach to address some uncomfortable truths? Picture: Press Eye

It could be argued that Jeffrey Donaldson’s career, and various inflection points along the way, have been building up to his ultimate ambition to become leader of the DUP and the de facto leader of Northern unionism.

He’s by no means a Johnny-come-lately. Aged 58, he has served apprenticeships with some of the big beasts of unionism, including Enoch Powell, Jim Molyneaux and David Trimble.

Many doubted if he had the ambition or drive to ...