New UK election only alternative to deal with DUP

Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May  accompanied by her husband Philip delivers a statement outside 10 Downing Street in central London
AFP 2017 Ben STANSALLUK PM Theresa May Receives Permission From Queen to Form New Government
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12 June, 2017

In an article for the Conservative Home website, Timothy conceded that the campaign had failed to communicate "Theresa's positive plan for the future", and to notice surging support for the opposition Labour Party.

A senior Conservative lawmaker was in Belfast on Saturday for talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose 10 seats in the new parliament could give May just enough support to pass legislation.A source close to the DUP said the party was seeking more funding for the province and concessions for former British soldiers in exchange for supporting May.But the wooing of the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is now suspended.The crisis also increases the chance that Britain will fall out of the European Union in 2019 without a deal.

May's bet that she could strengthen her hand by crushing what she believed to be a weak opposition Labour Party backfired spectacularly on Thursday as voters stripped her Conservative Party of a parliamentary majority.

May's party won 318 seats, 12 fewer than it had before May called a snap election, and eight short of the 326 needed for an outright majority.

If she is to succeed in delivering the wishes of the 52 per cent of voters who opted to take Britain out of the European Union a year ago, she must find a way to bridge the differences within her party to pass legislation preparing for and enacting the departure.

The resignations of Timothy and Hill, on whom May had been heavily reliant since her previous job at the interior ministry, will be a personal blow.

May announced the party would try to work with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, an alliance that is fraught with difficulties.

Downing Street said it hopes to finalize the deal next week, after Parliament resumes sitting.

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.

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But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is gay, was among the first to express disquiet over a deal with the DUP, which is opposed to abortion and gay rights.

An analysis of marginal seats in the United Kingdom general election has revealed exactly how many votes away Jeremy Corbyn was from becoming Prime Minister. This is the exact opposite of the strong and stable government Theresa May wanted as she called a general election after swearing a hole through a pot she wouldn't call one. With just 10 members of Parliament, the DUP doesn't wield much power on its own - but those seats, if they vote with May's party, have the power to push the Conservatives over the threshold to a functioning government.

The result has demolished May's political authority, and she has also lost her two top aides, sacrificed in a bid to save their leader from being toppled by a furious Conservative Party.

"I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality. I'm ready for another general election", Corbyn said. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage".

A deal between the government and the DUP could also unsettle the precarious balance between Northern Ireland's British loyalist and Irish nationalist parties, whose power-sharing administration in Belfast collapsed earlier this year.

Labour's election result should not be seen as a "famous victory" and was "not good enough", says former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie. She's taking us back to those times.

Former Treasury chief George Osborne - who was sacked by May a year ago - called May a "dead woman walking", and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was ready to contest another election at any time. Potential challengers, such as Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna, accept there will be no leadership contest in the immediate future.

"May stares into the abyss", said The Times' Saturday edition while the Daily Mail led with "Tories Turn On Theresa".


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