DUP Free to Speak and Vote at all Times – Dodds

DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP MLA today said:

“The DUP is first and foremost a Party which seeks to defend and promote the Union. We believe that the interests of the Union are best served by being free to speak and vote at all times in accordance with that overriding objective.

The DUP has maintained good relations with the Conservative Party and often votes with them on issues in the House of Commons. At the same time it is essential to have the freedom to make judgements and take decisions on an issue by issue basis, at all times putting the interests of the Union and unionism first, not the preferences of another political party.

Both main Parties at Westminster have at times adopted policies or promoted measures which have been detrimental to the Union or against the interests of unionists in Northern Ireland. Currently both Parties have policies which many unionists in Northern Ireland would neither support nor endorse.

Being staunchly unionist whilst at the same time being free from having the fetter of an imposed whip, whether it is Tory or Labour means we are best placed to speak, negotiate and represent the people who have elected us.

The DUP has been in regular discussions with the Tory party leadership. We also talk regularly to the government. With the prospect of a hung Parliament stronger than ever, and as recent events show, having a strong bloc of DUP Parliamentarians acting cohesively will be very significant. Any Party in that situation will be in a very strong position to negotiate on behalf of Northern Ireland and the unionist cause.”

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