NICOLA Sturgeon warned last night that any “bribe” the UK Government pays the DUP to support its Brexit withdrawal agreement must be matched with extra cash for Scotland and Wales.

The DUP held what it called “constructive” talks with senior Tories yesterday, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, as Theresa May battles to build support for next week’s third attempt to get her Brexit deal through the Commons. The DUP secured an extra £1 billion in funding for Northern Ireland when they agreed to prop up May’s government after the 2017 General Election.

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds insisted money did not play a part in yesterday’s talks but Sturgeon tweeted: “It will add further outrage to the Brexit scandal if the Tories’ need to bribe the DUP sees Scotland and Wales shortchanged again. I don’t grudge Northern Ireland a penny but there must be fair treatment.”

Asked about Hammond’s involvement in the meeting, Dodds said: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer is obviously a key member of the Government, but he is also responsible for HMRC and the whole issue of their involvement in customs and other regulatory issues is a key concern for us. We are not discussing cash in these discussions.”

Dodds added: “We have had a long series of discussions with a series of Cabinet ministers. We have had a constructive dialogue. Those discussions will continue over the coming period of time.”

Other ministers involved included David Lidington, Michael Gove and Tory chief whip Julian Smith.

Dodds said the Government was “very focused” on the issue of the backstop. He said: “From day one, our focus has been on the red line of how Northern Ireland is treated separately from the rest of the UK. That is the issue that has been the priority concern for us.”