The Belfast Telegraph reports….

The DUP have given their backing to Northern Ireland boy Billy Caldwell receiving access to medicinal cannabis oil which his mother says helps control his seizures and could even safe his life.

The party had previously remained tight lipped on the issue and were not part of a five party grouping (SDLP, Sinn Fein, UUP, Alliance and Greens) from Northern Ireland which backed allowing access to cannabis oil on the NHS earlier this month.

However a DUP spokesperson has now said that the party is in favour of Billy getting access to the medication until a final recommendation has been made on the issue from medical experts.

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“DUP representatives have met with the Caldwell family on many occasions and continue to make representations on their behalf. MPs will usually be only able to facilitate meetings with Ministers on behalf of their own constituents however,” the spokesperson said.

“The party pursues an evidence-based approach to our position on cannabis. We do not support legalisation of cannabis for recreational purposes.

“Trials are ongoing to test cannabis-based drugs for conditions such as epilepsy in children, glaucoma and cancer pain. We recognise that patients and their families will be keen to have access to innovative treatments immediately but it is necessary that such drugs are rigorously tested and all processes followed to ensure full safety and effectiveness.”