General Election 2017: NI will take '˜centre stage' if DUP back Tories

The DUP will put the needs of Northern Ireland 'centre stage' if it is to back the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament, a senior party member has said.

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey was speaking as polling indicated that the Tories could be short of an overall majority in the Commons – leaving them casting around for potential partner to help them govern.

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Mr Storey told the News Letter: “These are interesting times. If there is a hung parliament, the DUP as always will ensure that if we have a role to play, we will put the interests of Northern Ireland first and it will be centre stage to anything we do.”

In terms of the North Antrim seat, Mr Storey said the DUP was confident Ian Paisley would comfortably retain his seat.

He added: “Given the figures we are currently seeing we are very encouraged and are confident we will see an increase in our percentage share from Assembly election.”