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Protest against Conservative-DUP deal and austerity held in London

Many protestors carried banners and signs, with one reading "No DUP", while "Tories Out. Don’t be DUPed," said another. Picture by Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Andrew Madden

MORE than 10,000 people took to the streets of central London protesting against austerity and the Tory-DUP alliance.

The crowd repeatedly took up the chant of "Jeremy Corbyn" and "Tories out" during the rally on Saturday afternoon.

Many carried banners and signs, with one reading "No DUP". "Tories Out. Don't be DUPed," said another.

Last week, Theresa May's Conservative Party entered into a 'confidence and supply' deal with the DUP, which will see Arlene Foster's ten MP's voting alongside the Tories on key legislation.

The deal came about as a result of the Conservatives losing their overall majority in last month's snap general election.

The fruits of the Tory-DUP deal were immediately evident on Wednesday, when they teamed up at Westminster to vote down a Labour bid to end the pay freeze for emergency service and public sector workers.

Prior to the rally, more than 20,000 people expressed an interested in attending the event on the protest's Facebook page.

"Theresa May called the general election to gain a bigger majority, and despite massive media bias in favour of the Conservatives, she failed spectacularly to deliver on that," organisers wrote on the social media site.

"Now the Tories are in chaos trying to prop up a government with the deeply conservative and regressive Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)."

The protest assembled at BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place amid a strong police presence, before moving on to Parliament Square.

Speaking at the event, Jeremy Corbyn referenced the DUP and slammed the "hypocrisy" of MPs who praised the work of the emergency services dealing with recent terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster.

"I say to any public sector workers in Northern Ireland or anywhere else - don't have any illusions in these people, when they started the austerity programme they meant it and they meant it to carry on,” he said.

"And carry on with a growing gap between the richest and poorest in our society, with a growing impoverishment of those at the bottom, a growing under-funding of local government, health, education and all the other things that we all need in a civilised society."

Two weeks ago, a number of women's activist groups staged a similar rally in London highlighting opposition to the proposed deal between the Conservative Party and the DUP.

Specifically, the rally was protesting against the DUP's opposition to same-sex marriage.

Saturday's London rally also coincided with a protest in Belfast demanding same-sex marriage rights in Northern Ireland.

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