Belfast Telegraph

Boris Johnson pays tribute to DUP for keeping government in power

Boris Johnson at the DUP conference with Nigel Dodds
Boris Johnson at the DUP conference with Nigel Dodds

Boris Johnson has thanked the DUP for effectively keeping his government in power.

Mr Johnson was speaking in the commons on Thursday after delivering his inaugural address to the house.

Responding to a question from DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, the Prime Minister thanked the party for "enabling the government to carry on".

However, speaking to the BBC Mr Dodds denied that his party had the government "over a barrel".

The DUP are set to meet with Mr Johnson in the coming days to renew their confidence and supply agreement.

Currently, the government relies on the support of ten DUP MPs to maintain a majority in Parliament.

Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Dodds congratulated Mr Johnson on his appointment and said he looked forward to further conversations with the Prime Minister "in the coming weeks to ensure that we can have a sustainable Conservative and unionist government going forward".

"The alternative is unthinkable in terms of national security and the union of the United Kingdom, nevermind the economic damage that would be inflicted" the North Belfast MP said.

Mr Dodds asked the Prime Minister if he agreed "that the union comes first", Brexit second and restoring the Stormont Assembly third.

"Let us strain every sinew to strengthen the union, get a deal to leave on the right terms and get Stormont up and running again," he said.

Responding Mr Johnson said he wanted to thank Mr Dodds for the cooperation and support that "has enabled the government of this country to carry on and protect the people of this country from the degradations of the party opposite because that is frankly what we would face were it not for his support".

"He is right in what he says about the primacy of the union and he and I share the same perspective by coming out as a United Kingdom whole and entire, getting rid of that divisive anti-democratic backstop that poses that appalling choice to the British government and British people and UK of losing control of our trade, of our regulation or else surrendering the government of the UK," the PM said.

"No democratic government could conceivably accept that and I am completely at one with the Rt. Hon. Gentleman."

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