The Twitter handle @DUPleader, which was long used by Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster in her messaging, cannot be accessed by the new party head. Instead, it has become a parody account.

Foster inherited the handle from her predecessor, Peter Robinson, in 2015, but last month’s transition of power in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party went far less smoothly.

Forced to resign as leader following a no-confidence push by the party, Foster apparently decided to take the 96,000-strong online followership with her. The account’s handle was changed to @ArleneFosterUK, leaving the original one up for grabs.

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Apparently the DUP wasn’t quick enough in reclaiming the old handle for its new leader, Edwin Poots. Instead, it was snapped up by an anonymous user and has been recreated as a parody, featuring a Union Jack as a profile picture. Its bio, mocking the party, says: “Need to get rid of that there sea border. Irish language act? Forget about it sunshine.”

As of Friday, the account had over 2,500 followers and just two tweets, with online activity starting on Thursday evening. One of the tweets posted by whoever is behind @DUPleader is directed at the main official DUP account, asking if they can participate in a party event.

Poots currently tweets using the handle @edwinpootsmla and has around 5,600 followers.

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