Edwin Poots on legal action against Northern Ireland Protocol
His resignation came following a meeting of party officers at the DUP headquarters in east Belfast. Mr Poots, 56, only succeeded Arlene Foster as leader last month. In a statement, Mr Poots said he has informed DUP chairman Lord Morrow to start the process for his successor.
He acknowledged it has been a “difficult period for the party and the country”.
Mr Poots added he will remain in office until the leadership contest is completed.
In a statement, he said: "I have asked the party chairman to commence an electoral process within the party to allow for a new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party to be elected.
Edwin Poots is to step down as leader of the DUP
"The party has asked me to remain in post until my successor is elected.
"This has been a difficult period for the party and the country and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place."
Earlier today, the DUP had been plunged into crisis after a significant majority of its elected representatives opposed Mr Poots' decision to nominate a Stormont First Minister.
This is a developing news story, more to follow.