The power behind Theresa May's throne
|Born||Arlene Isabel Kelly|
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
|Alma mater||Queen's University Belfast|
|Party||Democratic Unionist Party|
First Minister of Northern Ireland
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. 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.
In April 2021, she was forced out of her job by her DUP colleagues and resigned as both DUP leader and First Minister.
- "Arlene Foster: DUP leader emerges as the kingmaker, but who is she?"
- "DUP will support Conservative's Queen's Speech"