Conservatives' chief whip in North for DUP talks

Elias Hubbard
June 11, 2017

Thinking she could solidify her majority, she held a snap election this week-but the public that had voted for Brexit turned on her and took away the Conservatives' majority in Parliament.

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.

"As I reflect on the results I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward", May said on Friday in a televised statement.

May said Brexit talks would begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day the British parliament is due to reconvene.

Theresa May looks set to be backed by the Democratic Unionist Party as she attempts to run a minority government following her General Election disaster.

Less than a year after May was propelled into Downing Street following Britain's surprise referendum decision to leave the European Union, party insiders were placing bets on how long she could last.

The resignations came as May worked to fill jobs in her minority government.

Davidson - who secured her party's best result for three decades, winning 13 Scottish MPs - said she had sought and received assurances from May about maintaining lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights.

"I sought, and to be fair to the prime minister, received a categoric assurance that in talking to the DUP that there would be no suggestion of any rollback on LGBTI rights in the rest of the United Kingdom", she told reporters. May's office has said that the most senior Cabinet members - including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - will keep their jobs, but she is expected to shuffle the lower ranks of ministers.

The decision by the Conservatives to form such an agreement with the DUP is controversial, with more than half a million people already signing a petition opposing such an arrangement and protesters taking to the streets of London today to voice their discontent at the prospect.

Numerous party members are also uncomfortable with the kind of deal that will have to be struck with the DUP, a socially conservative party that takes an opposing stance on issues such as abortion and same sex marriages.

The party leader, Foster, is pro-Brexit but against a "hard Brexit".

"I think if we'd had a large Conservative majority like all the polling was pointing to, then Theresa May could've pushed through her version of Brexit which is outside the single market, outside the customs union with tight control over migration, and not giving much money into the EU pot in terms of paying for access", explains French.

The outcome risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, and increases the chance that Britain will fall out of the European Union in 2019 without a deal.

Several lawmakers demanded the resignation of May's top advisers, who have been widely blamed for a disastrous policy to make the elderly pay more toward their care and a campaign seen as too insulated from ordinary voters and too focused on attacking her opponent.

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

"May fights to remain PM", headlined the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph headlined, while the Daily Mail said: "Tories turn on Theresa".

However, former Conservative party leaders warned against any immediate change, with Iain Duncan Smith saying leadership contest would be a "catastrophe".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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