Northern Ireland

DUP will not let Labour 'gum up the works' of parliament, says Dodds

Nigel Dodds
Image caption Mr Dodds said that the DUP would not tolerate a situation where there is stalemate

The DUP's deputy leader has said his party will not let Labour "gum up the works" of Parliament by engaging in tactics designed to prevent the government getting legislation through.

Nigel Dodds was speaking on the BBC's Inside Politics programme.

On Tuesday, MPs will vote on changing the make up of Commons committees which scrutinise legislation.

The government wants to ensure there is a Tory majority on committees, even though the party does not have a majority on its own in Parliament.

'Stability'

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused ministers of an "unprecedented attempt to rig Parliament".

However Mr Dodds told the programme that the DUP would not tolerate a situation where there is stalemate and the government cannot get through business related to Brexit, national security or finance.

Mr Dodds said that would be a "recipe for chaos" and the DUP believes its role is to provide stability not just for Northern Ireland but for the UK as a whole.

He dismissed reports that the Treasury has been delaying the release of an extra billion pounds in public spending negotiated in June as part of the DUP's confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservatives.

Money on way

The North Belfast MP said the fact that there are neither local or direct rule ministers in place is holding up some of the management and decision making.

However, he assured the public that that the money will be coming to Northern Ireland as soon as possible to address people's needs.

Asked if the DUP had set a deadline for the delivery of the cash, Mr Dodds replied that his party was in constant contact with the government at the highest levels.

He said senior ministers knew the DUP's position very well and there is no doubt about what is going to happen regarding the financial package.

Questioned about the state of the talks on restoring devolution, Mr Dodds said the DUP and Sinn Féin were involved in "intensive discussions".

He said it was important that the two parties get as much clarification as possible on each others' positions.

He described the private talks as "extremely useful" but added that he was "not going to pretend there has been any major breakthrough".

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