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Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat raises concerns over proposed deal between Conservatives and DUP

By Paul Francis

A Kent MP has raised concerns about the proposed deal between the Conservatives and the DUP, saying he has yet to be convinced it will bring stability to the country.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat, a former soldier, has questioned whether the deal will achieve its key aim and whether it is needed.

Theresa May is looking to negotiate a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to allow her to form a minority government with the party’s ten seats.

Tom Tugendhat MP
Tom Tugendhat MP

Although the MP stopped short of saying he opposed the deal, he said he had yet to be convinced and questioned whether it was even needed.

In an article posted on his Facebook page he said it was unlikely that the DUP would vote with Labour to bring down the government given that it would mean putting Jeremy Corbyn “one step closer to Downing Street.”

And he expressed reservations about the Conservatives backing the DUP because of its hard-line policies on issues such as same-sex marriages.

“The Tory-DUP deal may promise to bring stability but that may be an illusion," he said.

Theresa May in Downing Street. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Theresa May in Downing Street. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Can an agreement that creates the perception of a link between Conservatives, homophobic attitudes, Protestant militias and illiberal policies really yield the five years of stability our country so desperately needs? If it could, it may be worth the sacrifice in the national interest. But I need to be convinced.”

He went on: “Without a full coalition – which no one wants – does it do more than get us from one hurdle to the next? And even then, is the majority large enough to allow untroubled sleep?

“This agreement offers many possible avenues but the stability it claims seems illusory. Is that a price worth paying anyway? Until three years ago I was a soldier, and I’m no political expert. But the experts have been wrong twice since I was elected, so I’m going to ask a few more questions.”

Some politicians have expressed concern that the deal could compromise the Northern Ireland peace agreement with the Conservatives aligning themselves with one party in the power-sharing deal.

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