Belfast Telegraph

DUP won't be thrown under bus... they are our sister party, says Conservative MP

Nigel Evans is joint executive secretary of the backbench Tory 1922 Committee (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Nigel Evans is joint executive secretary of the backbench Tory 1922 Committee (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

A Conservative MP has said the DUP "won't be thrown under the bus" in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's pursuit of getting a Brexit deal with the EU.

Nigel Evans - the joint executive secretary of the Tories influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs - said it was crucial any deal had the support of the Northern Ireland party.

He said they needed the DUP to govern, describing them as their "sister party in Northern Ireland".

Asked about a Northern Ireland-only backstop, he said he was prepared to examine all options that deliver Brexit by the end of October. He also said he believed many MPs would carefully consider any deal brought back to the Commons and support it.

"If Boris Johnson gets something from the EU, which satisfies the DUP, then I can see a lot of Labour MPs supporting that," he told Sky News.

He said he believed the party was pragmatic and intent on finding solutions after meeting with leader Arlene Foster and chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

"We need the DUP to govern. They have been standing alongside us since 2017, they are our sister party in Northern Ireland so there is not talk of throwing the DUP under a bus.

"But we must look at all pragmatic solutions to this particular issue."

He said there needed to be a "little bit of give" from the EU in order to get a deal.

He also said the possible impacts of a no deal Brexit outlined in the government's Yellowhammer paper had been exaggerated and the £8billion costs for mitigating against any impacts was worth it as it would see democracy delivered.

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