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New influence at Westminster won’t be allowed to wither on vine: Dodds

By Suzanne Breen

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds will tell his party conference today that he has no doubt that its £1bn confidence and supply deal with the Tories will be honoured.

"That means all of the allocations for the first two years being made available to Northern Ireland in a manner consistent with the agreed timescale or in a manner satisfactory to us," he will say.

"We will make sure the £1bn worth of new money and the £500m in increased spending flexibility are invested in the Northern Ireland economy.

"Isn't it ironic that some of the people who most object to hundreds of million pounds extra being spent on the health service in Northern Ireland are the same people who seem quite happy to hand tens of billions of pounds over to Brussels."

Mr Dodds will say that the DUP will not let its "new found influence at Westminster wither on the vine" after the current parliament concludes.

"Instead we must work to ensure that we build a network of relationships and contacts so that the Union, our precious Union, is strengthened and deepened," he will say.

"This is the chance of a lifetime, and the opportunity of a generation, for unionism.

"We will want to use our influence wisely and in the national interest.

"We will want to make sure that we do so for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland and we will leave a real and abiding legacy for future generations," he will add.

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