Belfast Telegraph

DUP to seek health boost from new Conservative leader - report

NI party to demand cash for Northern Ireland's failing health service in deal review

All smiles from Arlene Foster, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Theresa May and Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson after the DUP agreed to support the minority Government in 2017.
All smiles from Arlene Foster, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Theresa May and Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson after the DUP agreed to support the minority Government in 2017.

The DUP is to demand cash for Northern Ireland's failing health service when it comes to sit down with the new Tory leader to review the confidence and supply deal, it has been reported.

The agreement between the two parties is due to be reviewed at the end of the current session of parliament on July 25. However, doubt has been cast on when the next term could begin with suggestions the new prime minister could prorogue parliament in order to leave the EU in Halloween.

Sky News reports the party will look to secure vital additional funding for the health service to bring down waiting times when it comes to sit down with the new Conservative party leader.

The DUP's support will be crucial. As it stands, with the Northern Irish party's support, the Conservatives have a working majority of just two.

DUP sources refused to put a figure any demand.

In their 2017 deal with the Tories, the DUP secured £1billion in funding for infrastructure, education, health, deprivation and broadband provision.

In return the party pledged to support the government in key votes - and crucially on Brexit.

However, relations soured between the parties over the contentious Irish backstop agreed between the EU and Theresa May in the withdrawal agreement. Nigel Dodds said Theresa May had broken promises made to his party and for some votes the 10 MPs did not vote in line with the goverment.

Just this week Mr Dodds called on the prime minister to address spiralling waiting times for essential treatment in Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year the Department of Health permanent secretary Richard Pengelly said it would take £1bn to eradicate Northern Ireland ever increasing waiting lists.

The DUP has been approached for comment.

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