Tory-DUP deal: Legal challenge launched

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    UK PM Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster shake hands outside Downing Street on 26 June 2017Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The Tory-DUP deal came two weeks after June’s election resulted in a hung Parliament

    A member of Northern Ireland’s Green Party is to legally challenge the UK government’s deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

    Ciaran McClean, a mental health worker, says the pact breaches the Good Friday Agreement and the Bribery Act.

    The DUP has agreed to support the minority Conservative government in important votes, in return for money for Northern Ireland.

    Mr McClean has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the judicial review.

    The government has said it believes the confidence and supply agreement is within the law.

    On his crowdfunding webpage, Mr McClean, who stood unsuccessfully for the Green Party in West Tyrone in June’s election, says the government is “threatening hard-won peace” with its DUP deal.

    “The Tories are being propped up by the DUP in order to cling to power after the recent election. This horrifies me. It’s straight bribery – money for votes.

    “The deal flies in the face of the Good Friday Agreement, under which the government is obligated to exercise its power with ‘rigorous impartiality’ on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.”

    ‘Citizen’s entitlement’

    David Greene, Mr McClean’s solicitor, said there had been a “public outcry” over the deal.

    “It’s not a question of foisting views and the important point is this is about the rule of law,” he said.

    “This is about a citizen’s entitlement to go in front of a court and say that doesn’t look right and to be able to challenge it in some meaningful way.”

    Under the arrangement, the DUP guarantees that its 10 MPs will vote with the government on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security – while Northern Ireland will receive an extra £1bn over the next two years.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-40547775

    While rival parties in Northern Ireland have largely welcomed the additional funding, concerns have been raised that the deal could undermine the peace process and devolution negotiations, with the UK government dependent on the support of the DUP.

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