Northern Ireland news

Former DUP Westminster chief of staff lambasts MPs' 'irredeemable laziness'

Christopher Montgomery accused Nigel Dodds and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of 'irredeemable laziness'

The DUP's former Westminster chief of staff has claimed the point of the party is to pay chief executive Timothy Johnston and his brother-in-law John Robinson, a former special adviser turned spin doctor.

Derry-born Christopher Montgomery, who alongside Nigel Dodds was a DUP representative on the board of the Vote Leave campaign, made the broadside against his former employers in a series of tweets earlier this month.

He said the DUP does not employ a single person at Westminster and accused Mr Dodds and fellow MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of “irredeemable laziness”.

The DUP's former Westminster chief of staff said the current mandate was "the greatest gift since partition" to Northern Ireland unionism but that the two MPs "through their indolence are squandering this heaven-sent irreplaceable boon".

He said that the DUP should have done more to ensure that funding for Sinn Féin from outside the UK was stopped.

In one tweet the former journalist states: "It is impossible to exaggerate the inertia and absenteeism of the DUP approach to the sole point of leverage they have. Which is in SW1, in this parliament, for as long as this parliament lasts.”

He said that each of the DUP 10 MPs had enough allowances to employ four staff each, as well as additional funds, but claimed the party had "no researchers, secretaries, advisors, press, nothing – not a sausage".

“But Timothy Johnston and his brother-in-law John Robinson are, we have to assume, getting paid. Somehow. From somewhere. Which seems to be the point of the DUP. Not winning things for unionism, with the precious political opportunities which come its way, but paying Tim Johnson," he said.

A statement from the DUP said the party did not accept Mr Montgomery's comments and that they were "wholly inaccurate".

The DUP said Mr Montgomery had no knowledge of how its staff were paid.

The DUP's former Westminster chief of staff claimed the point of the party is to pay chief executive Timothy Johnston (right) and his brother-in-law John Robinson (left)

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