Election 2015 Northern Ireland

DUP leader Peter Robinson says party could work with Conservatives or Labour

Peter Robinson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Peter Robinson said the DUP had costed the impact of the manifestos of both the Conservatives and Labour on Northern Ireland

The DUP leader, Peter Robinson, has said again his party could work with the Conservatives or Labour in a hung parliament.

Mr Robinson said there was £1m difference on the impact of their planned spending for Northern Ireland.

He said the DUP had a good relationship working with both parties.

The DUP had eight Westminster seats in the previous parliament, making it the fourth largest party.

Mr Robinson told the Today programme that the DUP would "do is what is best first of all for the people of Northern Ireland" but also for the UK.

"Because we are a devolved region, we've worked with both of them during the last two periods of parliamentary terms," he said.

"So yes, we could work with either of those parties as we have in the past."

Mr Robinson said the DUP had costed the impact of the manifestos of both parties on Northern Ireland and concluded the difference in spending at the end of five years was £1m.

The Conservatives have outlined plans to save £12bn from the welfare budget.

Mr Robinson said he could not see his party supporting that proposal.

"I cannot see how £12bn could be saved on welfare in a way that would enjoy our support," he said.

"I do agree with Conservative and Liberal Democrats that the onus is to get people out and working and that has to be the priority in terms of any changes in welfare.

"But I cannot see how we can be supporting £12bn of cuts on welfare."


Mr Robinson also criticised the Conservatives' attacks on the SNP during the election campaign.

"I'm just hoping that it is more to do with the campaign team than it is with the policymakers in the party," he said.

"I know campaign teams look single-mindedly at how they get over the line in terms of maximising the vote they can receive.

"But I have to say some of the anti-Scottish rhetoric doesn't bode well for encouraging people to remain in the United Kingdom.

"So there has to be a balance. At the one side you have to make it clear that there are real dangers with the separatism agenda of the SNP.

"At the other hand, you've got to make sure you're not punishing the people of Scotland because some of them take that view."

More on this story