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Theresa May (left) with Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, in London in June [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images].

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the courts have come out in favour of the Tories in unlikely situations before.

This Writer hopes Labour Party lawyers are paying close attention because any future Labour government may be asked to legislate against the possibility of a corrupt deal of this kind taking place again.

(It may also have to find a way to pre-empt attempts by minority governments to corruptly gain majorities on public bill committees, for that matter.)

The court’s decision will carry huge weight, as it could strip the minority Tory government of even the tenuous majority it has at the moment – making it impossible for it to push through its right-wing legislative programme and making a new general election more likely.

Mr McLean’s words, that the agreement was “no more and no less than the purchase by the government of votes in parliament using public money”, seem persuasive to This Writer.

Let us hope the judges hear them the same way.

Theresa May’s parliamentary deal with the Democratic Unionist party will face a judicial challenge in the divisional court in London within the next few weeks.

The crowdfunded legal challenge brought by Ciaran McClean, a Green party activist in Northern Ireland, is likely to be heard by several senior judges.

The high court notified both sides’ legal teams on Friday that because of the urgency of the claim it should be heard in October at the beginning of the new legal term. It is likely to begin on 26 October.

McClean, the son of one of the founders of Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement, Paddy Joe McClean, is spearheading the challenge to the arrangement through which the DUP gained a £1bn aid package for the region.

The basis of the claim is that any political agreement between the government and the DUP is in breach of the Good Friday agreement under which the government undertook to exercise its power in Northern Ireland “with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions”.

The legal challenge also argues that the political deal breaches the Bribery Act 2010 and is in any event unlawful as a corrupt arrangement.

Source: Court to hear challenge to Theresa May’s £1bn deal with DUP | Politics | The Guardian


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