Belfast Telegraph

Tories not paying for DUP adviser, insists party

By Jonathan Bell

The DUP has said no arrangement exists between it and the Conservative party over the funding of a adviser position for the Northern Ireland party.

The Times on Monday revealed that the cabinet minister offered to channel money to the party in a secret side deal.

In the wake of June's snap General Election which saw Tories' majority wiped out, the two parties brokered a confidence and supply to allow the DUP to prop up Theresa May's government.

In Monday's Times it said the DUP suggested it wanted the creation of a DUP adviser post paid for from government funds as part of the deal.

However, this was rejected by the government's head of propriety and ethics, the paper claimed as it was a parliamentary deal rather than a government deal.

The Times claimed First Secretary of State Mr Green and Arlene Foster discussed the role with it being agreed the Conservatives would fund the position.

Downing Street, the report states, did not say to it if the prime minister was aware of the offer. It did say that that the proposal had never resulted in any payments going ahead. Mr Green’s office told the paper it did not comment on private conversations.

Downing Street told the Belfast Telegraph it would not comment on the matter and referred us to the Conservative Party.

A DUP spokesman said: "If The Times had contacted the DUP before printing this story, we could have pointed out that no such arrangement exists.

"The Parties’ Coordination Committee continues to meet to ensure stable Government in the United Kingdom.”

When asked if a deal ever existed, or the party asked for the funding, the DUP did not respond.

The Conservative Party has been asked for a comment.

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