Newton Emerson: A Johnson premiership will not be the DUP’s finest hour

Party’s real decision is where to position itself in relation to frontrunner’s Brexit strategy

Boris Johnson said it was 'astonishing' that anyone would remove a No Deal Brexit from negotiations at his launch for the Tory leadership bid. Video: Reuters

No candidate for the Conservative leadership can govern without the DUP. That bald fact of parliamentary arithmetic is not receiving the attention it deserves, even in Northern Ireland. Perhaps it is just too exhausting to contemplate in these endlessly complicated times.

Of all the candidates only environment secretary Michael Gove has made it an issue, claiming he is in “a strong position” to command DUP support as “a unionist to my bootstraps”.

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