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Christian MP says gay rights will be maintained in Tory-DUP deal
A Democratic Unionist Party member has told Premier that LGBT rights would be maintained if they formed a coalition party with the Conservatives despite his party’s stance on same-sex marriage.
Jim Shannon, a Christian who was re-elected as the MP for Strangford said he had heard comments made by gay Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson who said she had received assurances from the Prime Minister over gay rights if a deal between the parties was made.
He said despite people's concerns, the party during negotiations wants to set conditions that will "benefit everyone across the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
He added: "We want to ensure that every one of the LGBT community have rights and their rights will be maintained. So, there's going to be no changes to that whatsoever.
"The situation in Northern Ireland is very different. The Northern Ireland Assembly will make those decisions - they're two diverse and different opinions.
Davidson spoke out after Theresa May outlined a plan to seek a deal with the party that was founded on the evangelical principles of the late Ian Paisley's Free Presbyterian church.
The party's 10 seats in the Commons would help bolster Mrs May's minority administration.
A spokesperson for the DUP told Premier: "Social issues are devolved matters. We don't seek to change Great British law on it or expect them to do so here in Northern Ireland.
"Our manifesto is focused on important bread and butter issues such as the economy, health service and education."
Shannon reiterated this point by highlighting differences between the two parties and Tory policies he personally will not support.
He explained: "That people should have to sell their homes to pay for their care - that's an absolute disgrace.
"There's many other issues on austerity and welfare reform - where we as a party have said "no" and have opposed."
Meanwhile, more than 300,000 people have signed a petition which calls on the Tories not to do a deal with the DUP in order to form a government. The Prime Minister's expected to finalise her ministerial team later.
Listen to DUP MP Jim Shannon speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:
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