Arlene Foster

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Person.png Arlene Foster   Facebook Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Arlene Foster.jpg
The power behind Theresa May's throne
BornArlene Isabel Kelly
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Alma materQueen's University Belfast
SpouseBrian Foster
PartyDemocratic Unionist Party
First Minister of Northern Ireland

Employment.png First Minister of Northern Ireland

In office
11 January 2020 - 14 June 2021
Serving with Michelle O'Neill

Employment.png First Minister of Northern Ireland

In office
11 January 2016 - 9 January 2017
Serving with Martin McGuinness

Employment.png Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

In office
17 December 2015 - 28 May 2021

Employment.png Minister for Finance and Personnel

In office
11 May 2015 - 12 January 2016

Arlene Foster MLA, PC (born 3 July 1970) is a Northern Irish politician who served as First Minister of Northern Ireland.

She was the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from December 2015 to 2021.

She has sat as the Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone since 2003.


Foster served in the Northern Ireland Executive as Minister of the Environment from 2007 until 2008, Minister for Enterprise and Investment from 2008 until 2015 and Minister for Finance and Personnel from 2015 until 2016. In January 2016, Foster became First Minister of Northern Ireland and shared power with Martin McGuinness.

McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister in January 2017 amid the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal, which involved a green energy scheme that Foster set up during her time as Minister for Enterprise and Investment. The scheme was set to cost the taxpayer £490 million and there were allegations of corruption surrounding the scheme. McGuinness asked Foster to step aside as First Minister while her involvement in the scheme was investigated, but she refused to step aside or resign and claimed that the voices calling for her resignation were those of misogynists and male chauvinists.[1] Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the First and deputy First Ministers are equal and, therefore, Foster could not remain in her post as First Minister. McGuinness's resignation caused a Northern Ireland Assembly election to be held.[2]

Following the UK/2017 General Election, Theresa May sought the support of Arlene Foster's 10 DUP MPs to obtain a majority in Parliament.[3]

In April 2021, she was forced out of her job by her DUP colleagues and resigned as both DUP leader and First Minister.[4]

In July 2021, Foster joined GB News.[5]