Donaldson rejects claim that DUP's £1bn from Tories is under threat
DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has described as "fake news" a report suggesting that the £1bn in funding for Northern Ireland agreed as part of the 'confidence and supply' deal with the UK Government at Westminster is under threat.
A Financial Times report yesterday claimed that the impending Northern Ireland budget to be set by Secretary of State James Brokenshire will not include the £1bn funding package agreed between the DUP and the Government.
Under the headline 'Theresa May's £1bn for Northern Ireland on hold as talks falter' the London financial newspaper said yesterday: "A budget from Mr Brokenshire would bypass the Stormont assembly, which is not sitting due to the stand-off, and a draft does not include the £1bn funding package secured by Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, when she agreed to prop up Mrs May after the UK prime minister lost her parliamentary majority in June.
"The £1bn of funding will only be released if a power-sharing executive is restored or London imposes full-blown direct rule."
But last night Sir Jeffrey rubbished the newspaper report's claim, describing it as "fake news".
"The additional money will come soon as a separate appropriations order regardless of whether devolution occurs.
"This FT story is #FakeNews," Sir Jeffrey said on social media.
"They will be separate appropriations. NI Block Grant Budget first and then additional funding," the Lagan Valley MP said.
The senior DUP MP - who was one of the signatories to the deal between the two parties - is on record as saying the £1bn additional funding would be spent regardless of whether an Executive was formed from the current Stormont talks process.