Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland become election key

Kristopher Drake
June 12, 2017

As the final results came in, May began intensive talks with the DUP and made her way to the Palace to ask the Queen for permission to form a new government.

Newspaper headlines saw her as just clinging on.

"I am backing Theresa May. Now let's get to work".

Brexit was seen as a key issue in the campaign but, if anything, the election has left Britain's preparations for negotiations with the bloc more uncertain.

May said she could rely in parliament on the support of her "friends" in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) after her governing Conservatives failed to emerge as clear winners.

Votes. With all but one seat counted, the DUP won 10 seats in the House of Commons and the Conservatives 318 - enough to form a working majority, albeit a very small one.

In an interview with the BBC, the DUP leader commented, "I think it will be hard for her to survive".

She is expected to announce ministerial appointments later on Friday.

May vowed to fight on, and fight on she did, striking a deal with DUP to reach the 326 seats needed for a majority in parliament.

The so-called confidence and supply agreement means that the supporting party will back the government in motions of confidence by either voting in favor or abstaining, while retaining the right to vote otherwise in matters of conscience.

He stressed he did not share their ultra-conservative views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality, which have caused disquiet among many Conservatives.

"Representation of LGBT people in positions of power is extremely important".

The Protestant unionist party also had links with outlawed paramilitary groups during the years of Northern Ireland's "Troubles".

Hill is well known for her aggressive treatment of senior ministers and other Downing Street staff, while Timothy is considered responsible for shaping the Conservative election platform, which proved so unpopular with voters that one Conservative member of Parliament, Nigel Evans, said, "We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot; we shot ourselves in the head".

There had been speculation that Mr Hammond in particular would be vulnerable if the Prime Minister had been returned - as she had hoped - with an increased majority.

May has shown little public contrition for her gamble that backfired but was forced to accept the resignations of her two closest aides - reportedly a requirement by cabinet colleagues for allowing her to stay in office.

Sky News said the Conservatives would retain between 315 and 325 seats.

But the newspapers were unsparing, with The Observer writing: "Discredited, humiliated, diminished". However, this is also dependent on the support of her own party. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is on a "permanent leadership campaign", he said.

The prime minister spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday and confirmed she was ready to start Brexit talks "as planned in the next couple of weeks".

Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission, urged the May government to get on with negotiations, noting that the United Kingdom has less than two years to extricate itself from the EU - which is considered a gargantuan task.

Merkel is in Mexico on a two-day official visit.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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