Belfast Telegraph

DUP 'offered Cabinet seat with Dodds as minister' during talks to keep Tories in power

Claim rejected

A spokesman for the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said claims he offered the DUP a seat in the cabinet during the negotiations which led to the party's deal to support Theresa May's minority Conservative government, were not true.

Tuesday's Times reports the then government chief whip offered the party a position in the cabinet in a full-blown coalition agreement with Nigel Dodds lined up to replace Liam Fox as international trade secretary according to a source.

The source said Mr Williamson was very keen on securing the support of the party but had gone "well beyond his mandate" by making the offer and told to withdraw it "pretty sharpish".

However, a spokesman for Mr Williamson, said the claims was not true.

After two weeks of protracted talks, the DUP and Conservatives agreed a £1billion confidence and supply deal to support the government on certain legislative matters while remaining independent.

The Queen's Speech had to be delayed as the talks went on and at one stage Number 10 announced a deal had been done prematurely.

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