Tory-DUP deal: Welwyn Hatfield reacts
PUBLISHED: 13:12 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 27 June 2017
Welwyn Hatfield critics have blasted the Conservative government for its self-preservation deal with Ulster unionists.
In exchange for £1billion for infrastructure, health and education in Northern Ireland over two years, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has agreed its ten MPs will support the Government on key votes, such as this week’s Queen’s Speech.
Anawar Miah, Labour candidate at the general election that destroyed the Government majority, said: “This is cash for votes from a magic money tree growing in the garden of Number Ten Downing Street when people have been burned to death because of cost-cutting.”
Borough council Labour group leader Kieran Thorpe added: “This shameful Government has put its own desperate survival before the interests of the stability of the peace process in Northern Ireland.”
County councillor Nigel Quinton, who stood for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Theresa May is now beholden to the dinosaurs of the DUP, and anyone who is concerned about a hard Brexit, about equality, about human rights, about climate change, about wasting money on grammar schools, or about the future of the Good Friday Agreement, should be very concerned.
“Hopefully this tenuous grip on power will not last more than a few months.”
Conservative MP Grant Shapps admitted he was “not a fan of the DUP deal”, but said it was necessary in the national interest.
He added: “None of this would have been necessary had we offered hope to country in our manifesto. Instead it side-tracked itself by trying to do too many things at once, none of which were particularly popular.
“Given that the alternative is the kind of [Jeremy] Corbyn-inspired socialism that led France into the sand over the past five years, we do need to ensure that we now govern in the interest of everyone.
“Corbyn’s offer sounds superficially appealing until you remember that these were the same policies that led to the average French youngster being four times more likely to be unemployed than the average Brit.”
The DUP was founded by the late Ian Paisley in 1971 in opposition to the more moderate Ulster Unionist Party, but has now eclipsed its popularity.