Having pretty much ignored Northern Ireland for the entire election, the political media are now beginning to ask a few questions about the DUP.
The Democratic Unionist Party look poised to join the ailing Convervatives in government after Theresa May’s pre-Brexit gamble backfired, badly.
However the largest party in Northern Ireland, led by Arlene Foster, are something of an unknown quantity to the average man or woman on the street, and the average political columnist.
DUP top priority will be soft border, saving Good Friday agreement and free movement across boundary. That absolutely rules out hard Brexit
— Polly Toynbee (@pollytoynbee) June 9, 2017
Theirs is a long and interesting policy history, but just to mention a few of the highlights.
- Previously appointed a climate denier as environment minister of Northern Ireland.
- Insisted a creationist explanation for the formation of the Giant’s Causeway be included at the iconic attraction’s new visitor centre.
- Opposed to gay marriage – as demonstrated by members’ support for the evangelical bakers during the Bert and Ernie cake case.
- Former leader Peter Robinson has gone on record saying some questionable things about Muslims.
- The “Cash for Ash” scheme that cost £400million led to the fall of the recent power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.
Which brings us to Sky News Friday afternoon and a question from Kay Burley that will go down as one of the greatest of a rather eventful General Election.
As the Conservatives grab hold of the closest dance partner that could keep them in power, without scrutinising their credentials, Burley challenged Tory MP Graham Brady on the DUP’s policies.
Boy, did she challenge him…
“Given that the Lib Dems are where they are, what first attracted you to the anti-abortion, pro-Brexit, climate change deniers that are the DUP?”
Rather than challenge Burley’s description of the Unionist party, Brady denied a coalition was being sought.
Burley was having none of it and pressed the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee on the DUP’s suitability for government.
“How can a female Prime Minister be against women’s rights? How can a female Primer Minister want to get into bed with a politician who is against abortion and against gay marriage?”
Watch it below, it is a fantastic grilling.
— Mikey Stafford (@me_stafford) June 9, 2017