‘We’re not dinosaurs’ insist DUP power brokers

25 Jun

Nigel Dodds MP, who has been negotiating a confidence and supply agreement with Downing Street, told Sky News he and colleagues had been misrepresented as “dinosaurs”.

He said: “People can always go back through the archives of any political party and find individuals saying things or policies from 20, 30 years ago.


Senior Tories have expressed concern about a pact with the DUP and Arlene Foster. File pic

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“But they need to read our manifesto and look at the recent years in Northern Ireland where the DUP has been the main partner in government with republicans to move this province forward.”

In his most famous speech, the Rev Ian Paisley, who founded the DUP, thundered that there would “never, never, never” be a role for Dublin in Northern Ireland.

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness found a way to forge a partnership
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Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness found a way to forge a partnership

The firebrand preacher fiercely opposed Sinn Fein but historically compromised to share power with Martin McGuinness, signalling a new, more pragmatic era for unionism.

His son, Ian Paisley junior MP, said: “He was a man with a very strong faith and he would have said this is a time where you seek God’s help and where you seek to have that wisdom to take the country forward.

“But he was also a deal-maker and a very good businessman and he would have taken the approach to make sure you get the very, very best deal for our people, the very, very best deal for our nation.”


 Prime Minister Theresa May returns to 10 Downing Street after visiting the site of the Grenfell Tower fire on June 15, 2017 in London, England. Prime Minister Theresa May is due to hold a series of meetings with the main Northern Ireland political parties today to allay mounting concerns over a government deal with the DUP in the wake of the UK general election.

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Nearly 300,000 people voted DUP in the General Election, some of them because of its social conservatism, others in response to a surge in the Sinn Fein vote at Stormont.

Six months after the devolved administration collapsed over a public finance scandal, the DUP is holding the balance of power in Westminster and under the national spotlight.


Sinn Fein outside 10 Downing Street after meeting with the Prime Minister

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Mick Fealty, who runs the political blogging site Slugger O’Toole, said: “I think their social conservatism is not anything that mainstream politics in England has experienced at any time really since the 1950s.

“I think they’re reeling from the shock of thinking that this medieval-looking party is going to have a major influence in British politics.”

But the party could find itself with less influence at home if any deal it strikes with the Tories negatively impacts on attempts to restore devolved government at Stormont.

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