Brexit

DUP urged to reflect on relationship with Conservative figures after Cameron memoir attack

Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds (left) and Boris Johnson (right)

CLAIRE Hanna has urged the DUP to reflect on the "company they're keeping" following David Cameron's blistering attack on Boris Johnson and senior Brexit figures.

The SDLP assembly member, who addressed a People's Vote rally in Belfast on Saturday, said the force of the former British prime minister's comments should make the DUP "think carefully" about their allegiance to the Tories.

In his new memoir Mr Cameron blasts both Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, who is now the minister in charge of no-deal Brexit planning, for "leaving the truth at home" during their Vote Leave campaign in 2016.

He also accused Mr Johnson of not believing in Brexit and said he only backed it to further his career.

The former prime minister also singles out the behaviour of former employment minister Pritti Patel, now Home Secretary, saying she "shocked me most".

"She used every announcement, interview and speech to hammer the government on immigration, even though she was part of that government," Mr Cameron says, adding: "I was stuck, though: unable to fire her, because that would make her a Brexit martyr."

Mr Gove and Ms Patel are both considered close allies of the DUP with both attending separate dinners organised by the party in 2017 and 2018 while senior DUP figures have given their wholehearted backing to Boris Johnson despite fears he could exit the EU without a deal.

Ms Hanna, the party's former Brexit spokesperson and candidate for South Belfast in a Westminster poll, said that Mr Cameron cannot be absolved for the "devastation" he wreaked - but that his views on his colleagues were important.

"His comments lay bare that the people that have been promoted in this government is almost gratuitously offensive - and highlights essentially the company the DUP are keeping," she said.

"Cameron's views also outline how underhand the Vote Leave politicians were prepared to be during the campaign and that pattern of behaviour has not changed now that they're in driving seat.

"However, I don't believe it will be too long before the DUP bear the brunt of their duplicitous nature...I think they need to look at who they are supporting."

 

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