UK leader May strikes tentative deal with N Ireland party

Jun 11, 2017, 09:37
UK leader May strikes tentative deal with N Ireland party

The result was a personal humiliation for Mrs May who called the election three years before she had to to bolster her position in Parliament as she embarked on the negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

After the Conservatives failed to win a majority, Prime Minister Theresa May says she can rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Ms Davidson said: "I was fairly straightforward with her and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than party".

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.

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Martin Selmayr, senior aide to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, responded to the resignations by tweeting the word "bauernopfer" - German for the sacrifice of a pawn in chess.

However, senior DUP figures made clear they were looking at a limited "confidence and supply" arrangement - rather than a more formal coalition - leading to some MPs to predict that there could another general election before the year is out.

May's office has already said that the senior Cabinet members - Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - will keep their current jobs, but she is expected to reshuffle the lower ranks of ministers. "The details will be put forward for discussion and agreement at a Cabinet meeting on Monday".

The DUP was founded in the 1970s by the late firebrand preacher Ian Paisley, and in the 1980s was a key player in the "Save Ulster from Sodomy" campaign, which unsuccessfully fought against the legalization of gay sex.

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But she has been forced to persue a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to ensure she can still pass legislation through the House of Commons, where now a majority are fundamentally opposed to the majority of Tory policies.

May's party fell short of an overall majority following Thursday's vote, and plans to work with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. "That's not a matter for me", she said.

"In particular, I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care", he added. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage". But the hung parliament has shone a spotlight onto one of the United Kingdom's most socially regressive parties - it also has consistently fought abortion rights in Northern Ireland, forcing women to travel elsewhere if they need to get one, and vetoed marriage equality in Northern Ireland since 2015.

The news of a possible deal came at the end of another torrid day for Mrs May, whose two closest aides both resigned earlier on Saturday, paying the price for the failure to crush the opposition Labour Party and its radical left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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"From hubris to humiliation", said the left-leaning Guardian, while the Times headline read: "May stares into the abyss".

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