May's fate as Prime Minister hangs in the balance

Elias Hubbard
June 11, 2017

The moves buy May a temporary reprieve. But Britain's Saturday newspapers agreed she is just clinging on.

Now the Tory government, eight seats shy of a majority, will rely on the support of the 10 members from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

The DUP agreed to supporting to the government on a "confidence and supply" basis, which would involve it supporting a Conservative minority government on key votes in parliament but not forming a formal coalition partnership.

Number 10 said the arrangement will be put to the Cabinet for discussion on Monday. The other under-fire aide, Fiona Hill, has also resigned.

The pair formed part of May's small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party's lackluster campaign and unpopular election platform.

The Labour leader, whose party gained 262 seats in the General Election, up from the 232 secured by Ed Miliband in 2015, says he plans to oppose the Queen's Speech in an attempt to bring Theresa May down.

Foster will attending Downing Street on Tuesday for talks with the Conservative leader as work continues to establish a stable government in the aftermath of the bombshell General Election results.

Data on how the different age groups voted and turnout among each generation is not yet available for Thursday's election, but a Labour source said the party's polling "suggested that young people were coming out in significantly larger numbers".

"It was a disaster", he said.

The "Labour Manifesto" was also an act of courage, sticking to the principles of economic and social justice that had long motivated the party's base as well as most of its voters.

She inherited a 17-seat majority in the Commons, but called the snap vote to take advantage of opinion polls putting her on course for a landslide.

Thursday's election result has cast doubt on Britain's position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, scheduled to begin on June 19. "That's not a matter for me", she said. "And to all, our message to Theresa May is this: Exit means Exit".

The Times of London said in an editorial that "the election appears to have been, among other things, a rejection of the vague but harshly worded prospectus for Brexit for which Mrs. May's departure from Downing remorseless".

Mrs May was expected to make further appointments to her Cabinet on Saturday, but the damage to Mrs May's standing makes it less likely she will risk alienating colleagues by carrying out an extensive reshuffle as she can not afford to have disgruntled former ministers sniping at her from the backbenches.

The DUP is rooted in a hardline form of Protestantism that opposes Ulster's reunification with the predominantly Catholic Irish Republic.

On Brexit, the DUP supports leaving the European Union but opposes a return to a "hard" border with Ireland - which could happen if May carries through her threat to walk away from the talks rather than accept a "bad deal".

"I asked for a categoric assurance that if any deal or scoping deal was done with the DUP there would be absolutely no rescission of LGBTI rights in the rest of the United Kingdom, in Great Britain, and that we would use any influence that we had to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland".

"I can still be Prime Minister".

"In my view it may well just be a period of transition", she told LBC radio. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage".

It aligns London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is suspended.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's Labour Party, has made a remarkable comeback after his political obituary had been written and widely accepted as recently as seven weeks ago. The Times wrote: "May stares into the abyss".

"It is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that", she claimed.

"I don't think Theresa May and this government have any credibility", Corbyn told the Sunday Mirror, predicting that there could be another election within months.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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