EVESHAM and Droitwich MP Nigel Huddleston has welcomed the deal between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the minority Conservative government.

It was announced on Monday that a confidence and supply agreement had been reached that will see the 10 DUP MPs back the Tories in key Commons votes.

The deal comes two weeks after the election resulted in a hung parliament, which led to uncertainty that the Tory minority government would be able to get key votes through parliament.

The deal ensures the DUP will support the Conservative Government on votes on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and Brexit and national security legislation.

But the agreement has come under fire from critics, who have pointed out the DUP's traditionally socially conservative stance on issues such as gay marriage and abortion, and that the deal could undermine attempts to restore a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

Mid-Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston said: "The deal looks fairly reasonable and sensible.

"There has been uncertainty, which is not good for businesses and jobs.

"There was scaremongering, but there are developments in this deal - such as the triple lock and winter fuel payment commitment - that are positive.

"This is not a coalition.

"I'm comfortable with the deal, and I think constituents will be."

On the issue of the DUP's stance on issues, Mr Huddleston added he was from the socially liberal wing of the Conservative and so opposed these views, and pointed out the deal had no commitment to hold votes on these issues anyway.

But Councillor Joy Squires, who stood as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the region at the election earlier this month, said: “This is a grubby deal designed to help Theresa May cling to power.

“She has used £1 billion of taxpayers money to keep her job.

“This discredits her further as Prime Minister and shows that the Tories will go to any lengths to survive politically.

“If the election told us anything it is that the country is crying out for change.

“Thanks to the Tories, what we have got instead is the worst sort of politics at play, based on narrow party self-interest and backroom deals.”