DUP to decide on 42 day detention

Tom Griffin
11 June 2008

Tom Griffin (London, The Green Ribbon):
It looks as if the DUP could be a decisive factor in tonight's Commons vote on 42 day detention.
The Guardian predicts the party's 9 MPs will vote with the Government.

The DUP insists it will make a decision based on principles, but is also seeking concessions on retaining water charge revenues, which are scheduled to be phased in over two years. There was speculation at Westminster last night that up to £200m has been placed on the table for Northern Ireland.

The Irish Times also sees growing indications that the DUP will support the Government. It's London correspondent, Frank Millar, worked with DUP leader Peter Robinson on the Unionist Task Force two decades ago, and proved well-informed about the party's heave against Ian Paisley earlier this year.
However, even Millar thinks the DUP are playing their cards close to their chest:

The party maintained its vow of silence on the subject last night as the MPs continued exploring the potential benefits of siding with the government in a critical vote where defeat could reignite questions about Mr Brown's leadership. Contacts between the sides will resume this morning ahead of a final decision by the DUP parliamentary party, expected to be announced about lunchtime.

Other reports suggest we may not learn the DUP's decision until the vote itself.

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