In this coalition of confusion, who are the DUP?
May must look to form an allegiance with the DUP to form a majority government. But who are they and what policies do they support?
Centered in Northern Ireland, the DUP are a pro-union party that want to keep N.I. a part of the UK. This is in opposition to separatist parties such as Sinn Féin.
The Irish Tories wouldn’t be that bad a description for them. But they’re fighting for a soft Brexit and much less liberal when it comes to social Issues.
Some of the most notorious views held by the party include:
Same-sex marriage + LGBT rights
The DUP have consistently been against same-sex marriage and many members have been openly opposed to LGBT+ rights.
The DUP have regularly denied being homophobic but are against redefining marriage to include same-sex marriages.
Leader Arlene Foster stated:"I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality, that's not a matter for me – when it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage."
The DUP will continue to block the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland and may try to promote this agenda in the UK with the power they hold over the Conservative party.
The DUP have blocked same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland at least FOUR times. It remains the only part of the UK without marriage equality
— Attitude (@AttitudeMag) June 9, 2017
It’s currently incredibly hard to get an abortion in Northern Ireland.
Access to abortion is only permitted if a woman's life is at risk or there is a serious risk to her mental or physical health.
Serious foetal irregularities, rape and incest are not circumstances in which abortions can be performed legally.
The DUP want to continue these restrictions on abortions and are strongly opposed to a women’s’ right to choose.
Tory minister on #r4today says they will have a vote on reducing time limits on abortion in exchange for DUP support.
— CarolineJMolloy (@carolinejmolloy) June 10, 2017
The party has a long history of science denial and are keen to go against decades of scientific evidence. With Sammy Wilson, the party's former environmental minister, believing that climate change is a man-made con.
The DUP’s 2017 election manifesto doesn’t talk about climate change or global warming. Rather, it pushes their commitment to fossil fuels.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK not held to legally binding climate change targets such as pollution or temperature rise targets. This is largely due to the DUP who lobbied hard to exclude NI from these aims.
With a huge social pressure not to backtrack on abortion or LGBT+ rights, climate change could be an area where Theresa May would be willing to budge under the pressure of the DUP. In particular, A commitment to fossil fuels in Northern Ireland.
The DUP are not supporters of the theory of evolution. Ministers in the party want creationism to be taught in schools, with some members even calling the theory of evolution lies.
Furthermore, Mervyn Storey the chair of the DUP’s Education Committee, believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Ignoring science and reason.
It's clear to see then why so many are concerned with increased power for the DUP. With PM May under increasing pressure to form a government or resign, will she hold under the pressure or fall to the power the DUP now has?