Three DUP MPs at risk in snap general election, polls suggest

The DUP’s 10 MPs: Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Paul Girvan, Emma Little Pengelly, Ian Paisley JR, Gavin Robinson, Jim Shannon, David Simpson and Sammy Wilson with party leader Arlene Foster

Statistical analysis of polling trends has suggested up to three DUP MPs could lose their seats in a snap general election.

Speculation has been mounting Prime Minister Boris Johnson could attempt to call an election for November in a bid to bolster his support in the House of Commons.

The Conservative party – which has a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP for the support of its 10 MPs – has a working majority of just one in the Commons.

In a report in the Sunday Times, Belfast-based pollsters LucidTalk suggest DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly will lose her seat based on analysis from polling firm YouGov.

It suggests Alliance could dramatically take the seat with 35% of the vote with Ms Pengelly taking 21% – a drop of nine points – with the SDLP, which previously held the seat coming in with 11%.

Elsewhere LucidTalk’s analysis suggests Gavin Robinson’s East Belfast seat and Paul Girvan’s South Antrim seat could be vulnerable to an Alliance challenge.

The study suggests in both constituencies the DUP are marginally ahead of Alliance.

In East Belfast, which Naomi Long famously wrestled from the clutches of Peter Robinson, the party is sitting on 41% support, two points behing the DUP.

While in South Antrim, the party could see its vote share soar to 32%, one behind the DUP, the polling suggests. In the last general election the party managed a 7.4% share of the vote.

Alliance has seen a surge in its vote at the ballot box during the Stormont stasis.

In May’s European Elections Naomi Long took the second seat after weeks of specualtion she could pinch the third seat from the UUP.

And just weeks earlier in the local government elections, the party broke new ground in constituencies it had never had representation before and saw its vote share increase almost 5% to 11.5%.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story 

The DUP and ‘What really happened at Number10’ ?

The DUP said tonight on English News: “All the cliam’s about my party were untrue and unfounded” but my response is “I am very sorry to say she lied”.

Jeffery Donaldson M.P. There are many faces of the DUP but here are just a few.

Ms Foster said she would not ‘negotiate over the airwaves’
The Democratic Unionist Party leader has said she hopes to seal a deal on supporting Theresa May’s minority government “sooner rather than later”.
After meeting the prime minister in Downing Street, Arlene Foster said discussions were “going well” and she hoped for a “successful conclusion”.Apparently a final meeting to approve the deal is set for Wednesday.

An Irish News, cartoon, previously printed. I think it says it all. Really.

But ex-Conservative PM Sir John Major said he was “dubious” about the idea and its impact on the peace process.
The Conservatives are having to rely on the support of 10 DUP MPs after they fell eight seats short of winning an overall majority at the general election.

The Headlines in the News Letter. One of the best selling Protestant newspapers in the North of Ireland (Northern Ireland).

But Sir John told BBC World at One that if the party “locked” itself into a deal with one of the main parties in Northern Ireland, there was a danger the government would no longer be seen as an “impartial honest broker” in restoring the power-sharing arrangements and upholding NI institutions.

Peace in Northern Ireland should “not be regarded as a given”, said Sir John – whose government laid the foundations for the peace process in the 1990s – and nothing should be done to “exaggerate the differences” between the unionist and nationalist communities.

Nigel Dodds M.P. A True Blue, pictured here showing his true colours. This bigot and anti-gay supporter could possibly be the next speaker in the House of Lord’s.

I am “concerned” about a deal with the DUP, says former prime minister Sir John Major
He urged Theresa May to consider governing on her own, saying this would not “carry the baggage” for the Conservatives that an arrangement with the DUP would.

Nigel Dodds M.P. The pictures he wouldn’t want you to see. When he came very close to losing his Westminister seat, but not to worry Nigel there’s always next time.

Sir John suggested the DUP would be asking for money and that would be seen as the “government paying cash for votes in Parliament”, and would be received badly in other parts of the UK.

I think this picture tells it all. The writing is on the wall’s ! Speaks for itself really.

The agreement with the DUP is expected to be very different to the coalition deal agreed between the Conservatives and Lib Dems in 2010, with DUP politicians not getting cabinet jobs and their support for the majority of new legislation to be determined on a vote-by-vote basis.
‘Giving stability’

The lie’s sorry “untruths” being peddled by the BBC. If you really believe their ‘false news’ then you need to open your eyes to the real truth.

The Secretary of State for the North of Ireland, James bronkenshire will not be accepted as impartial to the negiotions on restoring the North of IRELAND institutions. He has to go !!

Asked about Sir John’s comments during a trip to Paris, Mrs May said she was “absolutely steadfast” in her support for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – which created the Northern of Ireland Assembly – and efforts to revive the power-sharing executive.

The Irish have stood shoulder to shoulder even in London to oppose the Conservitive/DUP alliance.

QMrs May, who has been holding talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on counter-terrorism and Brexit, said the “productive” talks with the DUP were about “giving stability to the UK government that is necessary at this critical time” ahead of the start of the Brexit process.

Theresa May & the DUP will push through so-called extra terrorist legislation and pull out of the European Convention of Human Rights.The Conservite/DUP alliance ‘Do not deserve to be in power’.

Bercow: I’m a Speaker ‘for testing times’
May to meet Macron for anti-terror talks
The clock’s ticking, EU warns UK
Reality Check: Has election changed EU views of Brexit?
Conservative sources said “constructive” progress had been made in the talks and both sides were “working carefully through the paperwork” to complete the deal.

Mrs Foster told the BBC areas being discussed including Brexit, counter-terrorism and “doing what’s right for Northern Ireland in respect of economic matters”.
The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the DUP was likely to demand money for investment in Northern Ireland and an end to austerity.

The Conservite/DUP collation will vote through emergency legislation giving the British Securirty Services/MI5 and the British Army ” get out if jail free cards” for past murders. Including those of innocent women and children. No-one should be immune from prosecution including the IRA and it’s leadership.

“At least someone got a landslide” – the PM’s comment was met with laughter
Sinn Fein, whose seven MPs will not take their seats in Westminster, said any deal must be approved by the Northern Ireland executive when it is back up and running.
“Any agreement reached with the DUP – financial or otherwise – cannot be to the detriment of anyone else in our society,” said Belfast West MP Paul Maskey.

The RUC/PSNI, are not accepted in the North of Ireland as impartial. They are the very same police force as before. Anti-Catholic & just as bitter.

Earlier in the Commons, as MPs gathered for the first time since the election, Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Mrs May on “returning as PM” and said he “looked forward to this Parliament, however short it may be”.
The Labour leader joked that he welcomed the prospect of a Queen’s Speech once this “coalition of chaos has been negotiated”, but said if this did not happen, he was “ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest”.

With many thanks to: BBC, for the original story.

DUP MPs HAND OVER £144k AFTER SELLING LONDON HOMES

SIX of the DUP‘s eight MP’s have had to hand over thousands of pounds to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) following the sales of their London homes. The six – Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Willie McCrea, David Simpson and Sammy Wilson – were the only North of Ireland MPs on a llist of 29 MPs.

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Between them, the six DUP MPs had to hand over almost £144,000. In May 2010, following the MPs’ expended controversy, Ipsa banned the use of Commons expended to pay mortgage interest. As part of a transitional arrangement, it allowed MPs elected before 2010 to keep claiming money up until last August as long as they agreed to return any potential gain from property sales. When elected to Westminster, the six DUP MPs bought second homes in London rather than rent accommodation or use hotel rooms while attending parliament. Following the Westminister watchdog ruling, all six sold their properties and have now paid over sums agreed with Ipsa.

Seventy-one MPs were affected but most did not have to hand over any money to Ispa because surveyors’ reports or sale prices showed that their properties had not gained in value. East Derry MP Gregory Campbell had to pay the second highest amount of any MP – £61,403. “All DUP MPs have fully complied with the new expences system introduced at Westminster,” he said. “Through the fact that I receive no salary in my role as an assembly member that cost is saved to the public. “Through the sale of this property which has been done in full cooperation with Ipsa the public purse has benifited by a further £60,000.”An Ispa spokesman said one of the most damaging aspects of the MPs’ expences scandal was the use of taxpayers’ money to buy a second home. “That is why we said we would stop this and we have now done so,” he said. “The final stage in bringing this to an end was allowing a short transition period for MPs who were already committed to second mortgages. “But in doing this we set the condition that the taxpayer would want its share of any increse in the value of the property. “Today we are publishing that these capital gains are worth almost £500,000 to the taxpayer.” The spokesman said MPs had known this was the deal and agreed to the conditions set. The amounts that the other DUP MPs had to pay were :

  • Nigel Dodds : £19,507
  • Jeffrey Donaldson : £1,448
  • Willie McCrea : £29,793
  • David Simpson : £30,308
  • Sammy Wilson : £1,448.

PETER ROBINSON SET TO PUSH OFF

EXCLUSIVE : PARTY SOURCES SAY ROBBO’S READY TO QUIT STORMONT

AT FIRST I WAS ALL BUT NOW I AM ALL

NORTHERN Ireland’s premier politician Peter RRobinson, may be preparing to pull the plug on a four decade political career, the Sunday World has learned. And the race could soon be on to find a new dynamic leader to lift the mantle of Ulster unionism and wage the Democratic Unionist Party‘s battles at Storming and Westminister.

Speculation is rising within the DUP that the party leader may quit politics altogeather in favour of a new life on the other side of the Atlantic, where he and his wife Iris own a substantail home in Florida. Sources close to the Ian Paisley founded party, say the DUP leader appears to be ” going through the motions ” of holding down the prestigious post of First Minister. The cite Robinson’s recent lack-lustre performance at Westminister, when David Cameron sent him and Martin McGuinness packing with nothing to show for their  efrorts to secure a new Corporation Tax for the North of Ireland, as the latest example of the First Minister’s ” mounting disillusionment with politics.” And the recent comments he made concerning an attack on the Irish News in which he called on people ” to stop buying the Irish News “. ” David Cameron swotted Robinson and McGuinness like flies,” said one Stormount source. ” This was supposed to kickstart the North of Ireland’s economy. In the end, they came away with nothing and clearly Robinson and McGuinness had no plan B.” And the source added : ” Peter Robinson is a man whose political career was predicted on his understanding of fiscal matters, but he was caught out badly when Cameron told him there would be no change in Corporation Tax in the North of Ireland until after the referendum on Scottish Independence. Robinson had no answer to that.”

Robinson – who became DUP leader and First Minister five years ago when the Rev. Ian Paisley stood down – managed to overcome heartache in his personal life, to get his political career back on track after it emerged his wife Iris had had an affair with 19-year-old cafe owner Kirk McCambley. In the wake of the ‘ Iris-gate ‘ crisis, Robinson stood down from front-line politics, while his wife was treated for depression in a private London clinic. He handed over the reigns of leadership to Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster, who assumed the role of Acting First Minister. However, our sources maintain that if Robinson quits in the short to mid-term, then it is no longer a foregone conclusion that Foster – a former member of the Ulster Unionist Party – would emerge as frount runner for the leader’s job. ” Just because Arlene did such a good job when Peter was on gardening leave it doesen’t automatically mean that she is odds-on to be the next DUP leader. ” For many years, political pundits speculated that Nigel Dodds was the natural successor to Peter Robinson, but despite the rumours – even from within the party – that isn’t going to happen,” said our source.

And the source revealed for the first time that in his opinion, Peter Robinson’s preferred successor is Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who quit the UUP shortly before the party, led by David Trimble, signed the Belfast Agreement on Good Friday 1998. It is believed Robinson is impressed by Donaldson’s performance at Westminister, where he sits on various high-powered committees.  ” Jeffrey has a great understanding of how Westminister works and although Peter believed Storming caters for good devolved and stable Government in the North of Ireland, he sincerely believed unionism is best served by a strong unionist presence at Westminster,” the source said. And he added : ” If Peter had his way, he would step down tommorrow and allow Jeffrey Donaldson to take over the reigns.” It is understood Peter Robinson’s ego was delt a damaging blow when following the Iris Robinson‘s toy boy sex scandel, voters in East Belfast dumped him as as Westminister MP in favour of the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long. His political star in East Belfast decended even more during the recent Union Flag crisis. While the Alliance Party endured a campaign of vilifcation, Robinson was roundly jeered when he turned up at a meeting on the Lower Newtonards Road to discuss the issue. Our source said it was the current DUP leader’s ambition that the party speak for all shades of unionist opinion.

With many thanks to : Hugh Jordan,Sunday World.

Soldiers celebrated IRA death with cake

Security forces kept memorabilia of shot suspects

Northern Ireland: special report

Undercover soldiers in Northern Ireland would celebrate the shooting dead of a terrorist suspect with a cake adorned with the victim’s name in icing, it emerged yesterday.

The BBC released a photograph of one of the cakes, in the shape of a cross, baked to mark the SAS killing of the IRA man William Price, 28, in Ardboe, Co Tyrone, 16 years ago. It was marked RIP, with his name and where he died.

The reporter Peter Taylor discovered it when interviewing members of the security forces for Brits, the BBC2 series on the role of intelligence during the troubles. They often kept memorabilia, including snaps of shot suspects, and the cake photo was no big deal to them, he said.

In tonight’s episode, a member of 14 Intelligence Company, an undercover army unit, denied there was any shoot to kill policy. Soldiers adhered to the yellow card stipulating when they could legitimately open fire, she said. But they would mark the killing of suspected IRA volunteers.

The woman, identified as Anna, said: “We celebrated, if you like, as the IRA would if they had shot somebody. They made no secret of the fact that they celebrate the death of a soldier or a policeman, and they can be highly public about their celebrations. We celebrated in the same way. We went to the bar. We drank quite a lot. The cooks made us a cake.”

She added: “After a shooting occurred, if a terrorist was killed there was a cake made with their name on it, part of the celebration. Some of the cakes were in the form of a cross with RIP on it.”

Asked by Taylor whether she thought that macabre, she replied: “Possibly, but the saying is: Live by the sword and die by the sword.”

Price was shot four times in July 1984 as the IRA planned an incendiary attack on a factory to coincide with the death of the hunger striker Martin Hurson. The SAS was laying in wait.

Two soldiers told the inquest they had opened fire fearing Price was about to shoot. He was hit in the legs and then in the head as he was in a sitting position.

An IRA statement at the time said Price was scouting a way to the factory with another IRA man, adding: “When they got within 20 yards or so of the bushes, three to four figures rose in front of them, and suddenly the whole place lit up with gunfire. William Price fell moaning. The other volunteer crawled back through the long grass to make his escape.

“From the time William Price was shot and wounded to the time the other volunteer got out of the firing line, the shooting never stopped. Some time after that shooting the other volunteers heard the SAS whooping hysterically like Indians in a wild west film. A good three minutes after the firing, there seemed to be one shot and then a burst of shots.”

A private in the parachute regiment said on the programme that he had arrived on the scene after a shootout in Belfast between undercover soldiers and the IRA. It was hard to know who the enemy was. He began dressing the wound of an injured with his own shoulder dressing, reassuring him. The victim was going blue when the private learned he was an IRA man.

The private added: “Without thinking, I took the shoulder dressing off, threw it on the floor, picked up a handful of grass and sod of earth and shoved that where the shoulder dressing had been in his femur, obviously creating a load of pain and alarm.” Asked if he had said anything, he replied: “‘It looks like you’re on the way out, mate,’ and that was it. Thought no more of it.”

David Trimble‘s plan to return to power sharing with Sinn Fein is to be challenged with alternative proposals by opponents in his Ulster Unionist party. They would be put to the party’s council before Saturday’s crucial vote, said Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley, and would deal “with the issue of arms and the issue of government.

WITH MANY THANKS TO : John Mullin, Ireland correspondent,guardian.co.uk