Arlene Foster says she will not seek Westminster seat

Arlene Foster Image copyright PA

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she will not be seeking a seat in the next UK general election.

There had been speculation that Mrs Foster could put her name forward in a bid to pull in voters in one of Northern Ireland’s marginal constituencies.

But she has now quashed any talk of a Westminster candidacy.

“I’ll not be standing in the general election. My focus is very much on the return of devolution,” she said.

The DUP MPs have been vital in propping up the Conservative government with its confidence-and-supply arrangement.

What is the confidence-and-supply arrangement?

When the former Prime Minister Theresa May called the snap general election in June 2017, she did not do as well as she’d hoped and ended up without a Commons majority.

The Conservatives got 318 seats, four short of the number a prime minister needs (technically it should be 326 seats – half of the overall number of MPs – but Sinn Féin’s policy of abstentionism means its MPs do not take their seats).

That spelled bad news for Mrs May, as it meant her government could be defeated on crucial Brexit votes during the UK-EU negotiations. In order to get around that, she looked to the DUP and its 10 MPs, to help give her a working majority of 328.

The arrangement has continued on between the two parties.



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