Hillary Clinton emails: Labour sought DUP election pact

Gordon Brown and Peter Robinson in 2010
Gordon Brown and Peter Robinson in 2010

LABOUR sought support from the DUP in a bid to form a government following the Westminster election in 2010.

Newly released emails to Hillary Clinton when she was US secretary of state show the Labour Party tried to win support from the Democratic Unionists.

In a previously confidential briefing paper, US officials said then Labour leader Gordon Brown "is doing whatever he can to hold on to power".

They said Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward was involved in attempts to build support for Labour following the election.

The email read: "Shaun, for his part, is working on an economic package for Northern Ireland to win support from the DUP and other parties for Labour – a package to be proposed in the Queen's Speech."

However, the Conservatives formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.

In later emails Ms Clinton was repeatedly warned by a key confidant that the coalition would rapidly fall apart in the wake of the general election.

Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial adviser to Ms Clinton, delivered a withering assessment of the new government, describing foreign secretary William Hague as "disingenuous" and accusing deputy prime minister Nick Clegg of "inbred arrogance".

The correspondence shows she responded enthusiastically, saying she had shared the emails with her husband, Bill – the former president – who thought they were "brilliant", adding: "Keep 'em coming when you can."