Each of the 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs brought in to prop up Theresa May’s minority government is “worth more” than Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, quipped Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Alison Thewliss.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Thewliss hit out at Theresa May’s deal with the DUP, which saw central government pledge to give Northern Ireland an extra £1 billion (US$1.3 billion) in exchange for backing Tory legislation.
The support of each of the DUP’s 10 MPs has therefore set the PM back £100 million apiece.
“We’re now in the slightly odd position where each DUP MP is worth more than Ronaldo,” Thewliss joked.
The transfer payment for the Portuguese footballer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 was £80 million – a world record at the time.
“I don’t know what it says about Ronaldo’s skills,” Thewliss added.
Theresa May, who lost the Conservatives their 17-seat working majority in the general election, sought a “confidence and supply agreement” with the DUP.
After 11 days of negotiations, May finally signed a deal with DUP leader Arlene Foster on Monday.
In a tweet, Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent with the Financial Times, compared the salaries of the world’s highest paid footballers with the spoils of the deal divided between the 10 DUP MPs.
Transfer fees, for context:
Nigel Dodds, £100m
Ian Paisley Jr, £100m
Jeffrey Donaldson, £100m
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) 26 June 2017
“Did I mention they played on the right wing?” he added.
Thewliss warned an alliance with the DUP could jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement on peace in Northern Ireland.
“Does the secretary of state agree with [former government peace negotiator] Jonathan Powell that is it now impossible for the UK government to be even-handed in Northern Ireland?” Thewliss asked.
Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire insisted the government “remains steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement and its successors.”