Former X-Factor judge Louis Walsh has emerged as the shock frontrunner to become the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Odds on the County Mayo-native taking over as DUP leader have been slashed to 1/3 after he was spotted holidaying with North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr in Sri Lanka.
It comes after party members signed a letter of no-confidence in current leader Arlene Foster. Support among the party’s ranks for a change in leadership currently stands at about 110%.
‘Louis looks like a DUP leader, he sounds like a DUP leader’, a party source told us.
‘Things have gone from bad to worse for unionism under female stewardship. We need a proper red-blooded male like Louis to take this party forward’.
‘We hear Louis comes from good Loyalist stock as well. His grandfather was an Ibrox season ticket holder. His father threw the band stick in the air for the Gertrude Star and his brother drives for Eastside Taxis’, added the source.
It’s understood Walsh’s first act as new DUP leader would be to install Jedward as his deputy leaders.
Former Walsh protégée and hardline Loyalist Ronan Keating welcomed the move.
‘RHI, Brexit, this Northern Ireland Protocol – the PUL community have had enough of Arlene’, said the former Boyzone singer.
‘Louis will be the best thing to happen to the Prods since cheap Turkish cosmetic surgery’.
Keating went on to voice his support for the Loyalist paramilitaries, describing the UDA as ‘a great bunch of lads’.
Other frontrunners for the DUP leadership include Graham Norton and Louie Spence.