By Christian Smith
Arlene Foster, leader of the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist has signed a confidence and supply deal to prop up Theresa May’s Conservative minority government in parliament.
Mrs May lost her majority, after a snap election she called, despite many promises not to do so. The leader of the Labour party snatched over 30 seats from the Prime Minister, who was expected to win the elections by a landslide.
Following the June 8 election, the Prime Minister had to do a deal with the DUP.
The deal, which has raised concerns among those involved in the peace process in Ireland, includes an extra £1bn funding for Northern Ireland over the next 2 years.
The agreement signed at Downing Street today, means the 10 DUP MPs will back the Conservatives in key votes.
As a result of their support, key Tory manifesto pledges such as the end of the Pensions Triple Lock and cuts to the universal nature of the Winter Fuel Payment have been scrapped.
After the announcement of the deal, @grantshap, the Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield, said had the Tory party campaigned with “No change to Winter Fuel Payments, Triple-Lock Pensions & LongTerm care. With this manifesto, we could have had a stonking majority!”
Critics of the DUP -Tory deal, have called out Mrs May, saying her self-interest makes her a weak Prime Minister, who can no longer be even handed in the Northern Ireland peace process.
Carwyn Jones, the Welsh first minister said: “Today’s deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and faltering government in office.”
Reacting to the news of the agreement, Jeremy Corbyn said the “Tory – DUP deal has not been done in the national interest, but in the interest of Theresa May and the Conservatives’ own political survival.”
He explained that “austerity has failed.” and said “Cuts to vital public services must be halted right across the UK, not just in Northern Ireland.”