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Ex-PM Major tells of peace process fears if London not seen as impartial

By Harriet Line

Sir John Major has said he is "concerned" about the impact a deal between the DUP and Conservatives could have on the peace process.

The former Prime Minister, who engaged with the IRA to end the Troubles, said the peace process was still "fragile" and cautioned an agreement could mean the Government will no longer be seen as impartial.

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One show: "The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hard men, who are still there lurking in the corners of the communities, decide that they wish to return to some form of violence."

Sir John said he sympathised with Theresa May wanting to "shore up her parliamentary position", but said his "main concern" was the peace process.

He added: "The danger is that however much any government tries they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties, and you never know in what unpredictable way events will turn out, and we cannot know if that impartiality is going to be crucial at some stage in the future."

DUP Assembly Member Christopher Stalford hit back at the criticism, noting that the Major administration had relied on unionist votes.

He wrote on Facebook: "Sir John Major was saved in vote after vote by the late Sir James Molyneaux when he was leading the UUP and Major was Prime Minister. He, more than anyone else, has no business to criticise a Prime Minister for attracting the support of unionist MPs."

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