Sacked Defence Minster a close friend to the DUP at Westminster

Arlene Foster pictured in September at a DUP fundraising dinner with sacked Defence Minister Gavin Williamson.

The sacked Defence Minister Gavin Williamson has been a close friend and ally to the DUP at Westminster, with it once reported that he secretly offered a cabinet seat to Nigel Dodds as part of frantic efforts to strike a deal to prop up Theresa May.

In September last year the Conservative minister, who was sacked by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, attended a DUP gala dinner hosted by DUP leader Arlene Foster, without informing the public or press about his visit.

No details of his speech at the DUP gathering at the Killyhelvin Hotel in Enniskillen were made public. It was later claimed this decision was taken for "security reasons".

Mrs Foster tweeted at the time that she was "delighted to host the Secretary of State for Defence in Enniskillen last night at my annual dinner".

In July last year it was reported that Mr Williams wrote to Theresa May, urging her to create a "statute of limitations" for offences during the Troubles to protect former members of the military from prosecution.

As Tory chief whip, he signed off on the Conservative-DUP confidence and supply agreement in 2017 on behalf on his party, the deal is due for renewal next month.

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