Exc: Damian Green “offered to pay salary of DUP staff member from Tory party funds” after confidence and supply deal struck https://t.co/d2CaaG4ybl
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) November 26, 2017
Timing is everything.
Sam Coates of The Times has a very intriguing story in today’s Times.
Damian Green offered to funnel money to the Democratic Unionist Party in a secret side deal, The Times can reveal.
Theresa May’s de facto deputy offered Conservative Party funding for a salary for a senior DUP employee after the confidence and supply agreement had been completed in the summer. The revelation has angered some Tory MPs who said that it would be an inappropriate use of party funds. One donor said they would be furious if they discovered that money had gone to a different party.
No 10 said that the arrangement had not been put into motion but did not deny that the offer had been made….
….The Times understands that over the summer the Northern Irish party suggested that it wanted the creation of a DUP adviser paid from government funds. This was on top of the deal between the Tories and the DUP after the June election that means that the party’s MPs keep Mrs May in office.
The special adviser proposal was turned down by Sue Gray, the government’s head of propriety and ethics, who works in Mr Green’s department….
….The Times understands that Mr Green and Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, had discussed what to do about the role once Ms Gray had turned it down. It was agreed that the Tory party would pay directly for the position.
Such an arrangement would mean that Mr Green was in effect agreeing to fund the work of a competitor to the Conservative Party, since otherwise the salary would have been funded by the DUP. The Tories continue to have an active branch in Northern Ireland even though they do not have any MPs
The interesting aspect of this story is the timing, this story has been known since the summer, but it has been leaked today, after Green attended the DUP conference this weekend and pertinently whilst he is currently under investigation for a variety of reasons. It damages Green further.
Damian Green who is Mrs May’s oldest friend in politics and has been shoring up her position since the calamity of June 8th, so if Tories wishing to topple Mrs May, forcing Damian Green’s resignation might be a prelude to that.
As someone who has been paying his subs to the Tory party since 1997 and regularly donates money to the Tory party, I’m rather annoyed my money would be used to fund another political party. I expect major donors to the party might be similarly annoyed.
Far too much effort is spent on ensuring Theresa May remains Prime Minister, and not enough effort on what is in the best interests of the party and the country.