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Labour ‘to start talks’ with ‘homophobic’ DUP

PinkNews Staff Writer May 11, 2010
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The Labour Party will reportedly begin talks with the Democratic Unionist Party on a possible coalition.

Conservative blogger Iain Dale wrote this morning that he understood the two parties would hold talks and accused the DUP of having homophobic members.

Meanwhile, DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson told the Belfast Telegraph that “senior level” discussions had been held and that his party was not opposed to a Lab-Lib coalition.

The DUP lost its leader Peter Robinson in last week’s general election but retained eight seats.

Labour is currently in talks with the Liberal Democrats about the possibility of forming a coalition. However, the two parties would not have a Commons majority, forcing them to join with other smaller parties.

Mr Robinson is the husband of shamed former MP Iris Robinson, who was accused of hypocrisy after making homophobic statements while embarking on an affair with a 19-year-old.

Mr Dale claimed that the newly elected North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley Jnr has a history of “notorious” homophobia.

In 2007, Mr Paisely said he was “repulsed” by gays and lesbians, while in 2005 he said gay relationships were “immoral, offensive and obnoxious”. He also called civil partnerships “abhorrent” in 2004.

Mr Dale wrote: “Now, of course, the Labour Party can coalesce with whom it wants. But let’s not hear any more rubbish from Denis MacShane, Nick Clegg and others about the supposed ‘homophobic nutters’ in the Movement for Reform in the European Parliament. Because it would be rather hypocritical, wouldn’t it?”

The Conservatives have been attacked for alliances with homophobic Polish politicians in Europe, although some Tory MPs have hit out at the criticism and claimed Labour and the Liberal Democrats also have questionable allies.

Over the weekend, a coalition between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats seemed almost certain.

However, Gordon Brown’s announcement yesterday that he would step down as Labour leader in the autumn opened up formal Lab-Lib negotiations.

Labour is split over the possible Lab-Lib coalition, with some MPs, ministers and former ministers criticising the plans.

Today, former home secretary David Blunkett questioned whether Labour could trust the Liberal Democrats and claimed the latter were behaving like “every harlot in history.”

John Reid, another former home secretary, said the electorate would punish Labour if it attempted to “cobble something together that was not in the national interest”.

Related topics: General Election 2010, Northern Ireland

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