The party’s grassroots cheered him as he greeted his “fellow Unionists” and condemned the then PM Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement from the European Union.
More than four years on, Mr Johnson is once again turning to his allies in the DUP in his effots to undermine a Prime Minister.
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Mr Johnson, who is currently giving evidence to MPs on the privileges commmittee over his statements to the Commons on partygate, has made clear he will today jon the DUP in voting against a key element of the Windsor Framework negotiated by Mr Sunak.
So who are the DUP MPs, now down from ten in 2019 to eight, Mr Johnson likes to court?
Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley, he has been DUP leader since June 2021. He is also a UK Trade Envoy to Egypt & Cameroon.
He is the party’s former parliamentary chief whip as well as spokesman on defence and business in the Commons.
Born in South Down, Donaldson, 60, joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Orange Order as a young man. He worked for the MP Enoch Powell between 1983 and 1985. Two of Donaldson’s cousins were killed by the IRA while serving with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He has said Sam Donaldson’s death in 1970 was one of his earliest memories of the Troubles. Sam’s brother Alex was killed in 1985.
The longest-serving DUP MP, Donaldson was first elected to Westminster for the UUP in 1997.
A year later he was a member of the UUP’s negotiating team for the Good Friday Agreement. However, he walked out in protest, opposed to the UUP’s participation in it.
His resigned the UUP whip at Westminster in 2003 and later joined the DUP – which opposed the GFA. He is a former Stormont minister.
Mr Donaldson has been accused of making anti-Catholic comments. In 2009, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell demanded an apology from Donaldson and a retraction of his claim that Catholics owed allegiance in the first instance to the Pope and the Holy See.
In March 2019, Mr Donaldson was one of 21 MPs who voted against LGBT inclusive sex and relationship education in English schools. He opposes same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, legalised by the British Government in December 2019.
Sammy Wilson, MP for East Antrim, DUP chief whip since December 2019.
Belfast-born, Wilson, 69, is a former economics teacher and former DUP press officer. His appointment as environment minister at Stormont in 2008 provoked anger as Mr Wilson has dismissed manmade climate change.
He was first elected to Westminster in 2005. Mr Wilson hit the headlines again in 2016 when he was caught by TV cameras agreeing with a member of the public who said he wanted to leave the EU and “get the ethnics out”. Mr Wilson stated “You are absolutely right”. Mr Wilson claimed he was agreeing with the desire to leave the European Union, not the “ethnics out” call.
Ian Paisley, North Antrim MP, party spokesman on culture, media and sport.
The son of DUP founder the Rev Ian Paisley, Belfast-born Paisley, 56, was first elected to Westminster in 2010 and has served as a minister at Stormont. MPs voted to suspend him from the Commons for 30 sitting days, beginning on September 4 last year, because he broke paid advocacy rules by receiving hospitality from the Sri Lankan government without declaring this to the Commons. Following his suspension, the Recall of MPs Act 2015 was invoked for the first time.
This triggered an abortive recall petition, the first such petition in British parliamentary history.
His membership of the DUP was suspended between July 24 and September 18, 2018, during internal investigations by the party into his conduct. During his career he has made homophobic remarks. In 2005, after hearing that former first minister David Trimble’s aide Steven King had married his partner in Canada, Paisley was quoted as saying: “It is really astounding that David Trimble should have had a man such as this giving him advice – and must surely cast grave doubts on his own political judgement. I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious.”
In 2011, he said of his previous comments: “I think I have grown up since then. I have strong Christian beliefs and moral viewpoints, but you have to realise that while sin is black and white, life is a lot of grey.”
Gavin Robinson, East Belfast, spokesman on justice, home affairs and human rights. Currently the DUP spokesperson for Defence and Home Affairs. He also sits on the Defence Committee.
Belfast-born Robinson, 38, is a barrister by profession. Elected Lord Mayor of Belfast at 27, he succeeded Sinn Fein’s Niall O Donnghaile in the post. Mr Robinson paid tribute to the work of his predecessor, saying Mr O Donnghaile had “overall a very good year” and had made a significant contribution, “particularly in issues around children and young people, and suicide”. He was elected to the Commons in 2015.
Gregory Campbell, East Londonderry, Westminster spokesman on international development and the Cabinet Office. He is also a member of the Northern Ireland committee.
Born in Derry, Campbell, 70, is a former minister at Stormont . He was first elected to Westminster in 2001. In 1985 he appeared in a BBC documentary which was temporarily blocked in August 1985 by the government. It filmed Campbell’s life along with that of his late political rival Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein. In the same year he gave an interview condemning homosexuality.
Paul Girvan, South Antrim
Elected to Westminster in 2017, Girvan, 59, is a former MLA. He is also a former private secretary to the first minister and deputy first minister.
Girvan told an academic writing a book about the DUP: “Some people say religion and politics should never really mix. I am a total disbeliever in that aspect because I believe politics came about through religion.
“If you use the Ten Commandments, you can formulate almost every law that you need.”
Jim Shannon, Strangford, currently, DUP spokesperson on health and human Rights. He is also a member of the Ecclesiastical (Joint) Committee.
First elected to Westminster in 2005, the 67-year-old is a member of the Orange Order and a former councillor and MLA.
Carla Lockhart, MP for Upper Ban, she was first elected to Westminster in December 2019. She is the party’s spokeswoman at Westminster on the environment, food and rural affairs.
The 38-year-old was elected to Craigavon Borough Council in 2007, representing the Lurgan area, before stepping down in 2016 to run for the Assembly elections. She worked full-time in the Lurgan DUP Advice Centre, whilst working as a councillor. From a farming background in South Tyrone, she is a business graduate of Ulster University.
During her time as an MLA, she sat on the education committee. Carla is a prominent opponent of abortion rights.
She wrote on social media in June 2021: “Abortion harms the voiceless. The most vulnerable in our society. Those who were so vocal on Westminster forcing through an amnesty on troubles issues are strangely silent when it comes to abortion being forced on the people of Northern Ireland from Westminster.”