Belfast Telegraph

DUP Tory deal: Crowdfunding campaign launched to mount legal challenge

By Sue Doherty

A Green Party politician and mental health worker from Northern Ireland is mounting a legal challenge to the UK government's deal with the DUP, contending that it violates the Good Friday Agreement.

Ciaran McClean has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the challenge.

Through his lawyers and on the CrowdJustice website, Mr McClean said he believes the confidence and supply pact between the UK government and the DUP "is in direct violation" of the "rigorous impartiallity" required of the government under Good Friday Agreement. He also believes that the deal may violate the Bribery Act.

Following the last election, the Tories fell short of a majority and turned to the DUP to make up the required numbers. In return, a deal was agreed for £1bn special funding, as well as £500m additional flexibility on previously approved funding for Northern Ireland.

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Since the collapse of the power sharing executive at Stormont, British Secretary of State James Brokenshire has acted as mediator in the ongoing negotiations. Sinn Fein and others have said his and the government's impartiality is open to question in light of the deal agreed with the Tories.

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“My claim is that as a citizen I expect my government to honour its obligations under the Good Friday agreement and not to bribe others with money so that it can stay in power. My lawyers have put these points to the government. They eventually responded, failing to meet deadlines they set themselves. Nothing they said addresses the fundamental issues behind this corrupt deal.”

Mr McClean's legal representatives, Edwin Coe LLP aim to issue high court proceedings this week, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

As of Sunday morning, the campaign had already raised £9,300, nearly half the £20,000 target.

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