Labour’s criticism of the pending deal between the Tories and DUP amounts to “sickening hypocrisy”, a senior DUP MP has said.
The prime minister has been forced to seek a ‘confidence and supply’ deal with the DUP after losing her majority in a snap election that spectacularly backfired for her party.
The plan has been condemned by many Labour supporters and MPs, who are highly critical of the DUP’s stance on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband described the Tory-DUP agreement as a “coalition of chaos”.
However, the DUP has been quick to point out that Labour leader Gordon Brown had once tried to broker a deal between the two parties.
Leaked emails from Hillary Clinton when she was US secretary of state showed that Brown had written to the DUP asking for support after he failed to win a majority in the 2010 general election.
It also showed that the then NI secretary, Shaun Woodward, had worked on an “economic package” to secure DUP support.
Interestingly, Mr Woodward has branded Theresa May “reprehensible” for seeking to strike a deal with the DUP.
In response, DUP North Antrim MP Ian Paisley challenged Mr Woodward on his views regarding Tony Blair’s controversial “comfort letters” to on-the-run IRA terrorists.
Mr Paisley tweeted: “You [Woodward] never once described the OTR letters as reprehensible.”
Even some Labour MPs have warned critics in the party of hypocrisy.
Responding to Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s remarks that a deal with the DUP could put the peace process in jeopardy, party colleague Caroline Flint MP said: “No it doesn’t. Gordon Brown sought deals with DUP. There are lots of other reasons this won’t work for May.”
DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said Labour’s condemnation of the DUP-Tory deal was “sickening hypocrisy”.
He told the News Letter: “Labour has had no difficulty in sucking up to Sinn Fein over the years and they were never concerned that could have any destabilising effect on the peace process.
“When it is in their interests, Labour will jump into bed with the devil.
“We will do everything we can to stop Labour from forming an administration, given Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the IRA. That will be one of our aims in any talks we have with the government.”