NEWS

DUP Agree To Deal With Tories To Keep Theresa May In Power

Scottish and Welsh politicians demand equal share of wealth.

26/06/2017 8:15 PM AEST | Updated 27/06/2017 12:02 AM AEST

Theresa May has secured a deal with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that will see the Northern Ireland party prop up her minority Conservative government.

As part of the deal, the prime minister has agreed to spend an extra £1bn on Northern Ireland over the next two years for infrastructure including health and education. 

There will also be “new flexibilities” for £500m of previously committed funding.

May met with DUP leader Arlene Foster this morning in Downing Street to finalise the details.

Speaking outside No.10, Foster confirmed May had also agreed to drop plans to means-test winter fuel payments for older people and abandon proposals to ditch the state pension triple lock guarantee. 

The scrapping of the Tory manifesto pledges will also add billions more to the bill.

“Our aim in these negations is to deliver for all of the people of Northern Ireland,” Foster said. “This agreement will operate to deliver a stable government in the United Kingdom’s national interest at this vital time.”

May’s disastrous general election campaign lost the Conservative Party its overall Commons majority.

The votes of the 10 DUP MPs gives May a guaranteed majority on crucial votes including the Queen’s Speech and the Budget.

The DUP said the deal will also see it promise to back the government on Brexit legislation and national security issues.

However May’s authority remains precarious amid talk of a leadership challenge as it would take only seven Tory rebels to vote against her in parliament to defeat government legislation.

DUP-Tory deal in full:

Financial details of the deal:

Jeremy Corbyn said it was not acceptable for extra money to be given to Northern Ireland while austerity was in place across the rest of the UK.

“The Government must immediately answer two questions. Where is the money for the Tory-DUP deal coming from? And, will all parts of the UK receive the much needed additional funding that Northern Ireland will get as part of the deal?” he said.

“This Tory-DUP deal is clearly not in the national interest but in May’s party’s interest to help her cling to power.”

The extra money for Northern Ireland has not gone down well in other parts of the UK.

Carwyn Jones, the Labour Welsh first minister, said the Tory-DUP agreement was “a straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and a faltering government in office”.

“It is outrageous that the prime minister believes she can secure her own political future by throwing money at Northern Ireland whilst completely ignoring the rest of the UK,” he said.

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, said the Tories had found a “magic money tree” to pay for  the “grubby” deal.

“The financial aspects of this deal entirely sum up how little the Tories care about Scotland – while a billion pounds is being handed over to Northern Ireland, Scotland is seemingly to be offered little more than scraps from the table,” he said.

Grant Shapps, the former Tory party chairman, also criticised May for proposing the now abandoned policies in the first place.

Many Conservatives have expressed unease about the deal with the DUP given the party’s socially conservative views on gay rights and abortion.

Tory grandee Chris Patten said the DUP was “a toxic brand” and warned the prime minister it was in danger of looking like the “nasty party” again.

“Every vote will cost you. Every vote, you will have to find some way of paying for it and then explain to the Scots and the Welsh and people in the North East why they can’t have the same thing too,” he said.

Sir John Major, the former Tory prime minister, has warned a DUP-Tory deal could put the Northern Ireland peace process at risk.

More On This Topic