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Theresa May deal with 'toxic DUP' could make Conservatives look like 'Nasty Party' again, Lord Patten says

If Theresa May cuts a deal with the "toxic" Democratic Unionists, it could make the Conservatives look like the "Nasty Party" again, a Tory grandee has said.

Former Cabinet minister Lord Patten spoke out as Downing Street continued to try to reach an agreement with the DUP after the Tories' disastrous showing in the General Election left them eight seats short of a Commons majority and unsure if they can get the Queen's Speech to pass this week.

Lord Patten told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "The DUP is a toxic brand and the Conservative Party has got itself back in to the situation where there's a danger of it looking like the 'Nasty Party', to borrow from Theresa May.

"What the DUP want to do is to sell their votes at every opportunity, and this on the assumption that somehow Northern Ireland has been disadvantaged by public spending over the years.

"I mean, tell that to the Marines, Northern Ireland has got a lot of public spending over the years."

Lord Patten said that the DUP would continually squeeze the Government for more concessions.

"Every vote will cost you. Every vote you will have to find some way of paying for it and then explain to the Scots and the Welsh and people in the North East why they can't have the same thing too."

The former Tory chairman said there was little prospect of the DUP bringing down the Government.

"If there isn't an agreement with the DUP, are the DUP going to bring down a Conservative Government in order to bring in Mr Corbyn, who has a certain relationship with the IRA in the past?

"Of course they're not."

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