Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson will attend the Democratic Unionist Party Conference this weekend, The Impartial Reporter can reveal.

Despite the fallout over the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement it is understood that Arlene Foster’s party were hoping that a senior cabinet member, possibly Mr. Hammond, would also attend the annual event in Belfast.

Mr. Hammond is expected to address DUP members in a speech on Friday night while Mr. Johnson will attend Saturday’s conference when Mrs. Foster will make her address.

A DUP spokesman declined to comment when contacted by this newspaper.

Impartial Reporter:

Boris Johnson and Phillip Hammond. Photos: PA. 

Meanwhile the annual conference will be of particular interest particularly as relations between Number 10 and Mrs. Foster’s party have soured in recent days over the withdrawal agreement.

In a statement earlier, Deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: “With the rejection of the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement on all sides of the House and across all parties, it is increasingly clear this deal does not have support necessary to pass the meaningful vote in Parliament.”

He said: “A large number of Conservatives, both Brexit supporters and ardent Remainers, are against it. Labour, SNP, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru are against it. Unionists in Northern Ireland, and indeed unionists across the UK, are appalled at the constitutional implications of the deal.”

Mr. Dodds said the prime minister must now “work for a better deal.”

Mrs. Foster, a Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA, spent the day in her constituency in Fermanagh.