Theresa May agrees £1.5bn payment to Northern Ireland for 'confidence and supply' deal with DUP
The triple lock on pensions and non-means tested winter fuel payments will also continue as part of the deal
Arlene Foster and Theresa May - Image credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images
Theresa May has secured a deal with the DUP to prop up her minority Conservative government.
The Prime Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster signed a £1.5bn 'confidence and supply' arrangement which will see the Northern Irish unionists back the Tories in key votes.
It means the 10 DUP MPs will support the Queen's Speech when the crucial vote takes place in the House of Commons on Thursday.
The two parties have been wrangling over the pact for two weeks after the Prime Minister lost her Commons majority at the general election.
May said in a statement to the DUP: "As we set out at the beginning of the talks, we share many values in terms of wanting to see prosperity across the UK, the value of the union, the important bond between the different parts of the United Kingdom.
"We very much want to see that protected and enhanced and we also share the desire to ensure a strong government, able to put through its programme and provide for issues like the Brexit negotiations, but also national security issues.
"So the agreement we have come to is a very, very good one, and look forward to working with you."
And Foster said: "We’re delighted that we have reached this agreement, which I think works, obviously, for national stability.
"In terms of the Northern Ireland executive, of course we are determined to see it back in place as soon as possible as well, because we believe we need a strong voice for Northern Ireland when dealing not least with the Brexit issue."
Reports have said the pensions triple lock and winter fuel allowance payments will remain in place as part of the agreement.
Ahead of the election the Tories said they would replace the triple lock with a double lock and means test the winter fuel benefit.
According to reports the £1.5bn for the Northern Ireland budget will go towards hospitals, schools and roads in the region.
The DUP arrangement gives Theresa May an effective working majority of 13 – when the speakers and Sinn Fein, who do not take their seats at Westminster, are taken into account.
The Scottish Government will amend the Social Security (Scotland) Bill to give a right to a supporter
Professor Graeme Nixon on improving life expectancy in cardiovascular disease patients
With a growing number of people with insecure immigration status being driven into destitution, there is a limit to what local authorities can do to help
Speaking in Edinburgh the First Minister will argue that, with immigration essential to maintaining Scotland’s population, “the case for a different approach here is, to my mind, overwhelming”