Government under fire in Commons over DUP deal

The House of Commons
The House of Commons

Ministers have faced jibes in the Commons over the Prime Minister's £1 billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her minority Government.

Opposition MPs lined up to attack the arrangement during business, energy and industrial strategy questions, with Labour MP Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) claiming the money "found for the Northern Ireland powerhouse is at the expense of the Northern Powerhouse".

The deal struck in 10 Downing Street after negotiations stretching 18 days since the June 8 General Election also saw the Conservatives formally ditch plans to abolish the triple-lock protection for state pensions and means-test the winter fuel payment during this Parliament.

Shadow BEIS minister (industrial strategy) Chi Onwurah argued the Government had refused to "invest in growth for good jobs across the country".

She said: "We are now the most unequal economy in Western Europe and if every region produced at the same rate per head as London, we would all be one third richer, instead working people haven't had a pay rise for seven years."

She called on the Government to commit to matching Labour's proposals for investment for jobs laid out in its industrial strategy, asking: "Does this new found largesse end with the shores of Ulster?"

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Greg Clark branded the remarks "disappointing" as he spoke about the city and growth deals in the North East.

He said: "In years past, the majority of jobs were created in London and the South East, that situation has been transformed and the North East of England has been one of the areas in the country that has created jobs at a more rapid rate than anywhere else."