Pious Poots may be more of a pragmatist than people might think

The frontrunner to replace Arlene Foster as DUP leader is famously ultra-conservative, but he also knows how to cut deals with Sinn Féin

As the son of a founding member of the DUP and a proud member of the Free Presbyterian Church, there is little doubt that Edwin Poots would represent a move back to the party’s more evangelical roots. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Some years ago, Edwin Poots was involved in a radio debate on the topic of religion and politics when the conversation turned to the theory of evolution.

The then culture minister for Northern Ireland left listeners in no doubt as to his views.

“You’re telling me that cosmic balls of dust gathered and there was an explosion? We’ve had lots of explosions in Northern Ireland and I’ve never seen anything come out of that that ...