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DUP ambiguity over UDA needs to end

It is now confirmed that the DUP will act as scaffolding, propping up a weakened Conservative government.

In this new arrangement, like it or not, Theresa May brings all the baggage of the DUP into the heart of government.

She should reflect on this.

In the past year, many people of various political backgrounds have been deeply uncomfortable with the ambiguity of the DUP's position with the UDA.

Let's be clear. The UDA is one of the most active, violent, criminal, paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

Yet leaders of this proscribed organisation openly flaunt their membership - seemingly above the law.

What, we should ask, prompted the leaders of the UDA to publicly endorse the DUP in the last election and effectively instruct people how to vote?

In its new role, the DUP must distance itself entirely from the UDA, lest the stench of their criminality seep into Downing Street.

The DUP will undoubtedly want favours in return for their loyalty to the Tories.

As well-practised pork barrel politicians, extracting more money for DUP pet projects will be near the top of their list.

Theresa May should be very clear that, in buying the DUP's loyalty, no additional funding comes here which will end up channelled into projects which bolster UDA (or any paramilitary) influence in already fearful communities.

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