1. ITV Report

Theresa May set to discuss DUP deal concerns with political leaders from Northern Ireland

The PM will try and dispel fears over the impact of a Tory-DUP deal on Northern Ireland peace talks Credit: HUGO PHILPOTT/UPI/PA

Theresa May is set for talks with the leaders of Northern Ireland's political parties to discuss their concerns over a Tory-DUP deal.

The Prime Minister will hold separate talks at Downing Street on Thursday afternoon with the leaders of Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and Alliance Party to dispel their fears that the anticipated parliamentary deal between the Tories and the DUP will undermine the peace process.

It comes follows concerns raised this week by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams this week that the power sharing agreement could potentially impact the peace process.

He said: "Any deal which undercuts in any way the process here or the Good Friday and the other agreements is one which has to be opposed by progressives."

These concerns were echoed by former prime minister Sir John Major who has warned that the Government will compromise its stated impartiality if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster.

Sinn Fein, SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all also already made clear that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire cannot chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to a perceived conflict of interest caused by the deal.

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, pictured with Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016. Credit: PA

The Conservatives and DUP are currently still continuing talks in order to secure a deal, although reportedly only minor details remain to be ironed out.

The Tories need the support of the DUP's 10 MPs in steering government business, including crucial measures on Brexit, through the Commons after failing to win a majority at the general election.

An announcement on an agreement may not come until next week as it is thought it will be delayed as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Earlier in the week ministers had already said the Queen's Speech was likely to be set back from its scheduled date of Monday June 19, because of ongoing negotiations.