Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Ian Paisley vows DUP won't be used as 'puppets' to keep Tories in power at Brexit Party rally

DUP MP Ian Paisley addresses the Brexit Party rally. Credit: Brexit Party
DUP MP Ian Paisley addresses the Brexit Party rally. Credit: Brexit Party
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

DUP MP Ian Paisley has said that his party will not allow itself to be used as a "puppet" to keep Boris Johnson in power and then be disposed of.

Mr Paisley made the comments at a Brexit Party rally in London on Friday evening.

He told the audience that he felt like he was in a "home from home" at the event.

"I believe that we are blood brothers and blood sisters," the North Antrim MP said.

"I believe we share a common passion, something that some people just don't quite get. That is that we are a united people, the clue is in the word. Unity. United Kingdom.

"We are a single entity of people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and we are together."

Mr Paisley said that the deal would "leave part of the union behind" and told the audience the DUP would be voting against it during a special sitting of the House of Commons on Saturday.

The DUP has said it cannot back the deal due to concerns around customs, VAT and a consent mechanism to give Northern Ireland's politicians a say on the future relationship with the EU.

He addressed comments from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that unionism had nothing to fear from Mr Johnson's deal.

"I certainly do not need assurances from Mr Varadkar about what it means to be British," Mr Paisley said.

"The blood of Britishness beats through my heart and in my veins like every Ulsterman and Ulsterwoman.

"We are proud of that and will never be turned away from it."

The North Antrim MP then turned his attentions to Mr Johnson.

Quoting Edward Carson Mr Paisley said: "I was to be a puppet used in a game".

Lord Carson famously said that he had been used by the Conservatives ahead of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty.

"What a fool I was! I was only a puppet, and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative Party into Power," he told the Commons.

Mr Paisley evoked the sentiment in his address to the Brexit Party rally.

"To be a rung in a ladder for someone else to climb up upon in order to get that party into power and then to kick that ladder away," he said.

"Hundred years of history teaches unionism one thing, we ain't disposable, we ain't being kicked away so easily, we are here for the long-term, we are here to stay.

"No surrender."

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