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Arlene Foster and Theresa May in private meeting at Prime Minister's Chequers retreat

Arlene Foster’s DUP currently keeps Theresa May’s Government in power at Westminster (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Arlene Foster’s DUP currently keeps Theresa May’s Government in power at Westminster (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Theresa May had lunch at her country retreat Chequers with DUP leader Arlene Foster and the party's Westminster chief Nigel Dodds.

It is understood that the private meeting involved the drive to get the Prime Minister's EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill through Parliament, as well as efforts to restore power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland.

The DUP delegation told Mrs May that they wanted to see the Northern Ireland Assembly restored and the EU referendum result delivered in a way which strengthens the Union.

The DUP and Tories have a confidence and supply agreement which allows Theresa May to operate a minority agreement. They deal is due to be renegotiated next month.

In recent months there has been a fracturing of relations between the two parties as the Prime Minister attempted to get her Brexit deal through parliament without the support of the DUP. The party is opposed to the so-called backstop - the insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland should there be no agreement reached on the future trading arrangements.

The meeting also comes as a renewed bid to restore Stormont begun again this week.

Downing Street described the event as a "private political meeting" which had been scheduled for some time.

A Number 10 spokeswoman declined to reveal the subjects discussed.

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