POLITICAL leaders have reacted to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson's resignation as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

The veteran politician stepped down this morning (Friday) after being charged with historical sex offences.

NI First Minister, Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Féin), said: “My priority is to continue to provide the leadership the public expects and deserve and to ensure the four-party Executive coalition delivers for the whole of our community now and in the future. 

“This is now a matter for the criminal justice system.”

Meanwhile, UUP leader, Doug Beattie, said: "The leadership of the DUP is a matter for the DUP.

"Although the circumstances are of concern and in the public interest, we are mindful that this is now a criminal investigation and it would not be proper to comment further.

"In all matters of this nature, we must first and foremost consider the victims and what impact media and public attention will have on them.

"The Ulster Unionist Party will be making no further comment.”