DUP leader hails Theresa May’s ‘selfless service’

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Arlene Foster, right, agreed her DUP MPs would prop-up Theresa May’s Government following the 2017 general election (PA)

Arlene Foster has paid tribute to Theresa May’s “selfless service” to the UK.

The Democratic Unionist leader, who struck a confidence and supply deal with Mrs May to keep her in power in the wake of the 2017 general election, praised the outgoing Prime Minister’s “dutiful approach”.

Mrs Foster and party colleagues have been particularly critical of Mrs May in recent months for her handling of the Brexit process.

They were vociferously opposed to the contentious border backstop element of the deal the Conservative leader struck with the EU, claiming it would see Northern Ireland treated differently to the rest of the UK.

The Westminster arrangement which saw the DUP’s 10 MPs vote with the Government on key issues delivered a £1 billion funding package to Northern Ireland.

Commenting on Mrs May’s resignation announcement, Mrs Foster said: “After the general election in June 2017, we worked with the Prime Minister and her team through the confidence and supply agreement.

“Whilst at times there were differences in our approach, particularly on Brexit, we enjoyed a respectful and courteous relationship.

“In particular, I commend and thank the Prime Minister for her dutiful approach on national issues and her willingness to recognise Northern Ireland’s need for additional resources through confidence and supply arrangements.

“I pay tribute to her selfless service in the interests of the United Kingdom and wish her well for the future.”

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, who leads the party at Westminster, tweeted: “Whilst we have had differences with Theresa May on Brexit, I have always found the Prime Minister very courteous and pleasant to work with on a personal basis.

“I thank her for her public service and wish her well.”

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