UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the Conservative Party’s deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a minority government goes against the national interest and is aimed at keeping Prime Minister Theresa May in power.
“This Tory-DUP deal is clearly not in the national interest but in May’s party’s interest to help her cling to power,” Corbyn said Monday, shortly after the PM completed the £1 billion deal.
In order to secure the deal, May also agreed to expand Northern Ireland’s tax powers while granting the devolved state £200 million extra per year for two years to pay for new infrastructure and a further £75m per year for boosting broadband.
“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?” Corbyn asked.
Blasting May’s “failed” austerity measures, the opposition leader called for all cuts to vital public services to be halted across the UK and not just in Northern Ireland.
After striking the deal with DUP leader Arlene Foster, May claimed the agreement would be a “very, very good one” for prosperity, security, Brexit and the value of the union.
According to Foster, to get a deal May was forced to drop some of her manifesto pledges for the June 8 general election and scrap plans to change the pensions triple lock and the universal nature of the winter fuel payment.
“Our aim in these negotiations has been to deliver for all of the people of Northern Ireland and the support measures which we are announcing will be to the benefit of all our people,” she said.
May has faced growing pressure to step down since the June 8 snap general election, where her ruling party lost its parliamentary majority.
Currently, the Tories hold 318 parliamentary seats and need the DUP’s 10 seats to reach the required 326 seat threshold for a majority.