Belfast Telegraph

Dodds lands award for negotiating £1bn DUP deal with the Tories

By Cate McCurry

Nigel Dodds has been named as 'Negotiator of the Year' at Westminster for securing the promise of a £1bn package for Northern Ireland.

The DUP MP topped the list at the Spectator magazine's award ceremony in London last night.

He was one seven MPs to accept an accolade at the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards 2017.

The North Belfast MP and DUP deputy leader was among the party delegation to secure the controversial package with the Conservatives.

The extra funding was part of a DUP deal to prop up Theresa May's minority government following the general elections in June.

The awards were presented by Michael Gove, who stepped in for the Prime Minister at the last minute after defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon resigned yesterday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was crowned Politician of the Year while controversial Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was given Insurgent of the Year.

Mr Dodds, who was targeted by the IRA as he and his wife, MEP Diane Dodds visited their disabled son in hospital in 1996, described the award as a "honour".

An RUC officer was injured gunmen fired four shots as they guarded the hospital entrance.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Dodds said: "It's always an honour to have the party's achievements recognised in a manner like this.

"I'm very mindful that I collected this award only because the north Belfast electorate and almost 300k voters in Northern Ireland placed their trust in the DUP team.

"2017 has been a turbulent year for the party. It has had it highs and lows.

"I'm glad the DUP was able to play a part in securing stable government in the UK and at the same time deliver £1bn for everyone in Northern Ireland.

"Arlene and I were determined that we would use our influence in the House of Commons to deliver a more compassionate style of government in the UK.

"With seven seats not represented in the House, we wanted to deliver for all 18 constituencies to demonstrate that taking your seat matters."

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: "I'm delighted for Nigel. He is most deserving of the award.

"He has a superb intellect as well as being a loyal servant to the party and the people he represents."

Belfast Telegraph

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