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General Election: Ruth Davidson says Prime Minister has given her gay rights assurance over any proposed DUP deal

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said she has received assurances from the Prime Minister that any deal with the DUP will not affect LGBTI rights.

Theresa May is to head a minority Conservative government - propped up by the DUP - after her General Election gamble backfired disastrously.

The Democratic Unionist Party has often found itself embroiled in controversy over its stance on gay rights issues.

The party has repeatedly used a controversial Stormont voting mechanism – the petition of concern – to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage, despite a majority of MLAs supporting the move at the last vote.

Read more: Scottish Tory leader ‘given gay rights pledge from PM over DUP tie-up’

While the party insists it is protecting the “traditional” definition of marriage, critics have denounced its stance as homophobic.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriage remains outlawed.

Ruth Davidson, who is gay and plans to marry her partner Jen Wilson in the near future told the BBC she had been assured by the Prime Minister that gay rights would not change.

It came as she tweeted a link on Friday to a speech she made in Belfast about equal marriage.

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.

"I was there last summer, I made a very big intervention on why Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where you cannot have same sex marriage and it's an issue that is very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurance from the Prime Minister on, and I received."

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