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Open letter to Maria Caulfield, MP, Lewes:

Dear Maria,

I am writing to express my consternation about any deals and agreements made with the DUP for the upcoming Parliament, whether “confidence and supply” or of any other complexion.

Please would you tell me specifically what your political position on this is and what your position will be in Parliament on any attempts to suborn it to an agenda that nobody in this country has voted for?

Leaving aside issues related to links to terrorism – as many others have already said publicly, your party, and Theresa May in particular, has made clear statements regarding its opposition to working with terrorist organisations or with people with links to such organisations – I am deeply concerned that the Conservatives are going to condone and legitimise a completely unacceptable approach to social policy if you work with the DUP just to gain a shaky and uncertain majority in Parliament.

The DUP have some extreme policies, opinions and positions, which go against the hard-won equalities that women, LGBTQ and others have fought for and gained, some of which, like same-sex marriage, have been enshrined in law only shamefully recently.

Please can you tell me how exactly you intend, as my representative in Parliament, to refute and repudiate homophobic comments, including branding LGBT people as “disgusting” and an “abomination”; to work against the denial of climate change; to oppose creationism getting a toehold in our schools; and to defend women’s reproductive rights by refusing any suggestion of a roll back of abortion laws.

And finally, please can you tell me if, in your view, a Parliamentary deal with the DUP amounts to a breach of the Good Friday Agreement, through which a policy of neutrality to the two different sides by our government is enshrined in law.

I would appreciate straight, specific answers to these questions, which I appreciate may cause you difficulty as you endeavour to hold a loyal party line. But I believe that the people of Lewes constituency deserve and need openess, honesty and transparency from you on these hugely challenging issues in unprecedented political times. As such, I am making this an open letter and will be sharing it with others, as I hope you will openly share your reply.

Philippa Thompson

Western Road, Lewes