Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has told Prime Minister Theresa May exactly what she thinks about the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) opposition to gay marriage.
May is negotiating a partnership with the Northern Irish party after failing to secure a majority in this week’s election. But there are significant questions about the DUP’s hardline stance on gay rights and other issues, including abortion and climate change.
The DUP opposes same-sex marriage and Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where it is not legal. It’s a fact that has concerned Davidson, the gay Tory leader in Scotland.
On Friday, she tweeted a link to a speech she gave on the importance equal marriage. She also told the BBC that she sought assurances from May that the Tory approach to gay rights will not change if the party enters into an agreement with the DUP.
“I was fairly straightforward with her and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than party. One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights,” Davidson said. “It’s an issue that’s very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurance from the prime minister on — and I received.”
Davidson is an increasingly important voice in the Conservative Party. She led the party to an astonishing result in Scotland, winning an extra 12 seats in Thursday’s election. The MSP has even been touted as a possible leadership contender if May is forced to resign.
Separately, The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that Davidson’s aides “are working on a deal that would see the Scottish party break away to form a separate organisation.” But she branded the story “b****cks” on Twitter. “Folk might remember I fought a leadership campaign on the other side of that particular argument,” she said.
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