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Irish prime minister tells Theresa May of 'concern' about Tory-DUP deal

2 min read

Ireland's prime minister, Enda Kenny, has spoken to Theresa May to express his "concern" that a pact between the Tories and the DUP could jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement.

The 1998 agreement makes clear that the British government must show "rigorous impartiality" towards the interests of unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland - a stipulation that some fear could be threatened by the DUP propping up a Conservative minority government. 

The party's leader Arlene Foster is due to meet the Prime Minister on Tuesday as the two sides work on finalising an agreement.

This afternoon, Mr Kenny, who is due to stand down as Taoiseach at the end of June, tweeted that he had spoken to Mrs May about the possible ramifications of the proposed deal.

As well as concerns about the peace process, some Conservatives have expressed opposition to the DUP's positions on issues such as abortion and equal marriage. 

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has spoken to Mrs May about her concerns regarding LGBT rights. 

She told BBC Scotland: "I told her there there was a number of things that count to me more than party. One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights.

"And I asked for a categoric assurance that if any deal was done with the DUP there would be absolutely no rescinding of LGBTI rights in the rest of the UK and that we would try to use any influence that we had to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland."

But Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said there was no question of her colleagues being instructed to vote as part of any compromise with the DUP.

"A number of the issues have been raised about the DUP are matters of conscience which for the Conservative party have always been free vote issues... Nothing changes with regard to those matters, they are free vote issues," she told Sky News.

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