Tuesday 20 August 2019

Turmoil in Tories over DUP link-up

Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: PA
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: PA
Jane Last

Jane Last

The leader of the Scottish Tories Ruth Davidson signalled her opposition to any deal with the DUP in blunt fashion - by tweeting a link to the same-sex marriage lecture she gave last year.

"As a Protestant Unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic, here's the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast..." she tweeted, providing a link to a keynote speech about same-sex marriage she gave at the Belfast Pride Festival.

Her views could not be further from those of the DUP, which opposes same-sex marriage and supports of the "traditional" definition of marriage.

And there were further reports that Ms Davidson is to defy Theresa May's plans for a hard Brexit and tear her Scottish party away from English control after the UK Tories' disastrous General Election result.

Her aides are said to be working on a deal that would see the Scottish party break away to form a separate organisation.

Read More: Humiliated May facing party revolt

Ms Davidson's disquiet at the DUP deal was echoed in even more vocal fashion by liberals who baulked at the prospect of the unionists' greater role in governing the UK.

Many commentators focused on the DUP vetoing the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland in 2015, in opposition to the rest of the UK, and in stark contrast to this country which voted in favour of same-sex marriage in a referendum.

Former DUP minister Jim Wells' infamous quote "Peter will not marry Paul in Northern Ireland" was seized upon by many online, as thousands googled background information.

Others zoned in on the historic connections to paramilitarism, opposition to abortion, and noted that the DUP counts several "creationists" among its members.

Irish Independent

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