11 June, 2017
Britain's general election resulted in what the English call a "hung Parliament," conjuring grisly images from the Middle Ages but actually meaning no party got a majority. On the other hand, the opposition Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has gained a significant number of seats and revived itself.
DUP leader Arlene Foster's initial comments were non-committal: "The prime minister has spoken with me this morning and we will enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge". The party said Saturday that Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill have quit.
"The president invited the Prime Minister to visit France at the earliest possible opportunity, and they agreed that the strong friendship between our two countries was important and would endure". But she ran a clumsy campaign, and as a result the Conservatives lost their outright majority, winning a projected 318 seats from its previous 331, and 10 short of a majority. She's now attempting to form a government.
Some colleagues may be lining up to replace her, although a party source said the post was seen as too much of a poisoned chalice for the time being.
Mrs May has reached a "confidence and supply" agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
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Conservative Member of Parliament Anna Soubry was the first in the party to disavow Mrs May in public, calling on her to "consider her position".
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. I hope the Conservative Party in Parliament gets behind the Prime Minister, and allows her the political space to negotiate that deal.
"I will now form a government", May said in front of No. 10 Downing St. moments after speaking with Queen Elizabeth II, "a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country".
To retain her role as Prime Minister, May moved quickly announcing her intention to pursue a partnership with the DUP, a small party from Northern Ireland known for pursuing a more socially conservative agenda than the Tories.
Business, already struggling with the uncertainties of the two-year Brexit negotiating process, urged party leaders to work together.
"I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality". This would so undermine May's authority, I anticipated, that she would have to resign.