Northern Ireland

Peter Robinson: DUP 'could work with Conservatives or Labour'

Peter Robinson Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Peter Robinson said his party would try to secure the best deal for Northern Ireland

DUP leader Peter Robinson has said his party could work with either Labour or the Conservatives if there was a hung parliament after the general election.

Mr Robinson told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that in the first instance they would talk to whoever held the most seats.

However, he said a lot would also depend on which party offered the best deal for Northern Ireland.

On Saturday, the DUP released a five-point plan for such negotiations.

Speaking on Sunday, Mr Robinson said: "We are one of those parties that has not determined that we will only speak to one party or the other.

"We're open to speak to whichever party I suppose in the first instance constitutionally we would want to go to the party that has won the most seats, but we wouldn't be adverse to speaking to the party that comes in second place."

He said the party would not simply put forward a sum of money it wanted for Northern Ireland, denying reports that it was seeking £1bn.

"After an election we will sit down with any potential government of the United Kingdom and we will see to what extent they can help us deliver our plan for Northern Ireland and how we can help push forward their plans for the United Kingdom as a whole," he said.

"So it's not as vulgar as saying 'here's an amount of money and we want it'."

Mr Robinson also said it would be unwise for either Labour or the Conservatives to seek the support of Scottish or Welsh nationalists in the event of a hung parliament.

"We certainly don't believe that it will be sensible to allow a lever on government by those who are separatists and want to break up the United Kingdom," he said.

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