Sat, 2 December 2023

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Furious DUP MPs hit back at 'bile' against party amid Tory deal talks

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Angry DUP MPs have hit out at the “bile, hate and venom” being directed at the party as it considers propping the Conservatives up as a minority government.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said condemnation from Labour was “sickening hypocrisy” while East Londonderry’s Gregory Campbell argued that many of the critics “don’t know anything about us”.

Theresa May is in talks with the DUP after she lost her Commons majority at the general election on Thursday – bringing the Northern Irish party into the spotlight.

Its socially conservative views against abortion and LGBT rights have come in for hostile criticism, while links to Irish paramilitary groups have also raised eyebrows.

But in a furious Facebook post last night, Mr Campbell said: “Another day of bile, hate and venom by many who don't know anything about us.

“We and our people have endured this and far worse for decades so we shall keep calm and carry on.”

He added: “Whether the haters want to hear or not we will continue to support the innocent, pursue the guilty and stand up for what is right. Ok?”

Newly elected Belfast South MP Emma Little-Pengelly hit out at a profile piece in the Independent which noted that the three biggest loyalist paramilitary organisations backed her in the election.

The DUP rejected the support they received from such groups – but many have compared the situation to accusations about Jeremy Corbyn and the IRA.

Ms Pengelly said on Facebook she was “disgusted” by the profile, complaining that it failed to mention any biographical details.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Donaldson hit back at Labour after former home affairs spokesperson Yvette Cooper said the Tory deal with the DUP could put the Northern Irish peace process in jeopardy.

“Labour has had no difficulty in sucking up to Sinn Fein over the years and they were never concerned that could have any destabilising effect on the peace process,” he told the Belfast-based News Letter.

“When it is in their interests, Labour will jump into bed with the devil.

“We will do everything we can to stop Labour from forming an administration, given Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the IRA. That will be one of our aims in any talks we have with the government.”

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