Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Theresa May's minority United Kingdom government agrees confidence and supply deal with DUP

Theresa May's minority United Kingdom government agrees confidence and supply deal with DUP

"What the country needs more than ever is certainty... it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that", May said as she pushed to form a government with the backing of the Democratic Unionists. "We are ready to do everything we can to put our program into operation", he said. "Discussions will continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement on arrangements for the new Parliament".

There was no mention of what concessions the DUP may have asked for, amid growing concern about the influence of a party opposed to abortion and gay marriage, and which has proved hugely controversial in the past over the homophobic and sectarian views of some of its representatives.

Officials in Brussels were hopeful the election would allow her to make compromises, but this has been thrown into question by the prospect of a hung parliament.

May called the snap election confident of increasing her Conservative Party's majority to strengthen her hand in the Brexit talks, only to lose her majority in Thursday's election.

Labour's Corbyn, revelling in a storming campaign performance after pundits had pronounced his party all but dead, said May should step down and that he wanted to form a minority government.

They were replaced by Gavin Barwell, a former housing minister who lost his seat in the election.

His call was seemingly answered when the current UKIP leader Paul Nuttall resigned, the party's vote having crashed across the country, resulting in no MPs.

"From hubris to humiliation", said the left-leaning Guardian.

John Curtice, who oversees the exit poll for a consortium of broadcasters, said Friday that the Conservatives' final tally might be a bit higher than 314, but it was extremely unlikely they would get a majority. May had relied on Timothy and Hill for advice and support since her previous job at the interior ministry, and their resignations will be a personal blow. More pertinently, we fear a leadership election could tear the Tories to pieces. If May fails to form a coalition a new election could be held within months, she finished her cabinet reshuffle on Sunday night.

Ironically, although while Brexit was a key factor in the timing of this election, it didn't dominate the campaign.

Some senior Tories had made the removal of Hill and Timothy a condition for continuing to support May, who has vowed to remain prime minister despite the Conservatives losing their overall majority in Parliament.

I'm very proud to lead this party.

Britain's best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of her party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they were anxious that a leadership contest now could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into power.

"President Trump emphasised his commitment to the United States-United Kingdom special relationship and underscored that he looks forward to working with the Prime Minister on shared goals and interests in the years to come", the White House said in a statement on the telephone conversation between the two leaders.

Several hundred people - many Labour voters - protested in central London against the potential alliance, with one organiser leading chants of "racist, sexist, anti-gay, the DUP has got to go".

But the wooing of the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is now suspended.

Her government has already triggered Article 50 of the EU Lisbon treaty which could see Britain formally leave the EU by March 30, 2019.

But Mr Corbyn said: "I don't think Theresa May and this government have any credibility".

Labour now has more seats than at any time since 2005, its share of the vote is up 10 per cent to 40 per cent and the 9 per cent swing from the Conservatives to Labour was the biggest in any election since 1945.

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