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Jeffrey Donaldson brands claims that DUP's £1bn from Tories under threat as 'fake news'

Jeffrey Donaldson, third from left, was involved in the DUP negotiations to support the minority Conservative government. Picture by Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

JEFFREY Donaldson has branded a Financial Times report that the DUP's £1 billion funding from the Conservatives is under threat, as "fake news".

The DUP MP rejected the suggestion that the deal for Northern Ireland, which was agreed as part of the 'confidence and supply' deal with the UK government at Westminster, is in doubt.

The claims were made in an article in the Financial Times, in which it suggested the impending Northern Ireland budget to be set by Secretary of State James Brokenshire will not include the £1bn funding package agreed between the DUP and the government.

The report, published on Sunday under the headline 'Theresa May's £1bn for Northern Ireland on hold as talks falter', suggested the funding would only be "released if a power-sharing executive is restored or London imposes full-blown direct rule".

The newspaper said: "A budget from Mr Brokenshire would bypass the Stormont assembly, which is not sitting due to the stand-off, and a draft does not include the £1bn funding package secured by Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, when she agreed to prop up Mrs May after the UK prime minister lost her parliamentary majority in June".

But Mr Donaldson, who was involved in the DUP negotiations to support the minority Conservative government, rejected the claims made in the report and branded the report as "fake news".

"The additional money will come soon as a separate appropriations order regardless of whether devolution occurs," he wrote on Twitter.

"This FT story is #FakeNews."

He later added: "They will be separate appropriations. NI Block Grant Budget first and then additional funding."

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