5 terrifying facts about the party now propping up Theresa May

Charles McQuillan/PA Wire

If you're not from Northern Ireland, it’d be quite possible you’ve never heard of them before, but the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will form part of the new coalition government.

In the aftermath of a disastrous election result for the Conservatives, no party has an outright majority.

But this Northern Irish party – who won ten seats in the election – have been drafted in to change all that.

The Conservatives have announced they will run as a minority government, with help from the DUP.

Here's a little rundown of some of their ideology, just so you're up to speed on your new decision-makers.

1. The DUP is against same-sex marriage

The party has vetoed the introduction of any laws to allow same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

In 2015, Jim Wells, then DUP’s health minister, said at a husting:

the gay lobby is insatiable, they don’t know when enough is enough.

2. The party is anti-abortion

The DUP has opposed attempts to liberalise Northern Ireland’s reproductive rights, meaning women have to travel abroad for an abortion, or rely on pills they buy illegally online.

Abortions are only available to women whose health is in serious danger.

Only 23 abortions were carried out between 2013 and 2014.

Jim Wells also argued that rape victims shouldn't be allowed abortions.

3. It supports Brexit

The DUP was the only major party in Northern Ireland to back the “leave” campaign in last year’s Brexit referendum.

However they largely support a 'softer' Brexit than May had planned.

4. It isn’t shy of a scandal

The DUP’s leader, Arlene Foster, launched the Renewable Heat Incentive in 2012, when she was enterprise minister.

It was designed to subsidise businesses to switch from oil to wooden pellet-burning biomass boilers.

Except the botched job meant that recipients could receive £160 for every £100 of fuel.

In other words, the more fuel they burned, the more money they earned.

There were calls for Foster to resign over the error. She didn’t.

5. Its former leaders addressed a meeting of gunrunners for loyalist terrorists

In November 1986 future leaders of the DUP Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson addressed a rally for the Ulster Resistance, in the Ulster Hall.

Robinson was also photographed in an Ulster Resistance beret in the mid-1980s.

The Ulster Resistance was a loyalist group that police have found to both fund and supply arms to loyalist terrorists.

In 2016 the Police Ombudsman concluded in a report that the Ulster Resistance smuggled weapons for loyalist terrorist groups such as the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association.

The report states that the Ulster Resistance colluded with terrorist groups to import guns used in at least 70 murders and attempted murders.

Ian Paisley was leader of the DUP until 2008. Peter Robinson succeeded him as leader, as was DUP leader until 2015.

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