DUP could support a Labour government in the event of a hung parliament, says Foster

PUBLISHED: 11:58 24 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 25 November 2019

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP at party headquarters in east Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP at party headquarters in east Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

The DUP could work with the Labour Party if there is a hung parliament, admits party leader Arlene Foster, but there is one catch.

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Foster reiterated her view that she could see no circumstance in which her party would support a minority Labour administration with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.

But she acknowledged there were others in the Labour Party, with different positions to Corbyn, who she could consider working with.

In that situation, she said her party would judge any successor to Corbyn against the DUP's election blueprint for Northern Ireland and whether the new leader's vision was good for the region.

"Jeremy Corbyn, of course is an anathema to anyone who believes in the United Kingdom," said the DUP leader.

"I mean he would destroy the economy. We've seen that through his manifesto launch. I mean, some of it is complete fantastical stuff. How he's going to fund that no one knows, he would wreck the economy.

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"He would wreck the defence of our nation as well. And more than that it would lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.

"So therefore, we cannot see any circumstances, I see no circumstance where we would support a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party.

"Of course there are others in the Labour Party who take a different view to Jeremy Corbyn.

"And, if it comes to be the case that someone else is leading the Labour Party, then we will judge it against not only our 12 point plan but whether it's good for Northern Ireland to be in communication with whoever's leading the Labour Party at that time."

Foster rejected the suggestion that Corbyn's position on Brexit - with his opposition to the erection of economic barriers down the Irish Sea - was more unionist than either Theresa May or Boris Johnson.

"I think that's probably a tactical attack for him on the Conservative Party as opposed to anything he really genuinely believes in terms of the United Kingdom," she said.

Asked whether unionism would be in trouble if Johnson secured a large majority, thus enabling him to ratify his deal in parliament, Foster replied: "Well, I don't think they will come back with a large majority.

"But we will still continue to use our influence there if they do come back with a large majority and to make sure that Northern Ireland's voice is heard with our strong team of DUP MPs."

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