Hundreds set to protest in Glasgow against Tory-DUP deal

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Nearly 700 people are set to back a protest in Glasgow against any deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Organised by Glasgow University student Emma Kate Thompson and friend Samuel Cook, the gathering is expected to take place at the city’s Royal Concert Hall steps at 6pm on Thursday.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds arriving at 10 Downing Street. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds arriving at 10 Downing Street. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Describing the DUP as “a deeply racist, sectarian, anti-Catholic, anti-LGBT and anti-women party” in an open invitation online, the organisers described how last week’s General Election results had shown that Mrs May’s government was “far from being strong and stable.”

News of the protest came after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a “grubby deal” between Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party would not be in the national interest.

The First Minister said she was concerned by the “disregard” shown for the Northern Irish peace process and called for full details of any deal to be made public.

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Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, she said: “I want to record my deep-seated concern and, I believe, the deep-seated concern of many not just in Scotland but across the UK right now at the prospect of some sort of grubby deal between the Tories and the DUP to allow Theresa May to cling to office.

“I don’t think that kind of deal, particularly if it is not completely and utterly transparent, is in the national interest in any way, shape or form.

“I say that not just because of some of the views of the DUP that, perhaps not all of us, but many of us feel deeply uncomfortable about, but I also say that because of a real concern about the disregard that is being shown for the Northern Irish peace process.

“I think one of the most shameful aspects of the whole Brexit process from the beginning to now has been the disregard shown by many for that peace process.”

She said there was a real question about whether the UK Government could be an impartial broker in the peace process as outlined by the Good Friday Agreement.

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She added: “I’ve seen this morning some suggestion that the deal, if there is a deal, between the Tories and the DUP will not be published in full. I think that would be completely unacceptable.”

Labour’s James Dornan asked the First Minister if she shares his concern about the message a deal between the Conservatives and the DUP, who have used their veto to block legalising same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland five times, sends to the LGBTI community.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I do think it is regrettable that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where loving same-sex couples cannot get married as they can in England, Wales and Scotland and I certainly would hope to see that change for the better in the not too distant future.”

She said the issue of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland would be decided by politicians there.