Britain's May seeks deal to cling to power

Her Conservatives struck an outline deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for support on key legislation.

JEREMY Corbyn is predicting there will be ANOTHER election this year as he vows to try and block Theresa May's plan to form a Government this week. 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.

Johnson's backing, nevertheless, dismissed reports that he might be planning a leadership challenge after May's "bullet to the foot".

He tweeted that an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper headlined "Boris set to launch bid to be PM as May clings on" was "tripe".

"I don't think Theresa May and this government have any credibility. Let's get on with the job", Johnson said on Twitter on Saturday.

Labour won 262 seats in the General Election, up from the 232 secured by Ed Miliband in 2015, but the Conservatives remain the largest party in Parliament with 318 seats.

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

Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry said May should "consider her position", while another, Heidi Allen, said she may not last six months.

Asked if she was a "strong and stable leader" just 36% agreed and 50% disagreed.

Corbyn believes that there is enough opposition in the rest of the House of Commons, and even amongst Conservative MPs, to defeat the government and trigger another election. May called the snap election to win a clear mandate for her plan to take Britain out of the EU's single market and customs union, so she could slash immigration. "That's not a matter for me", she said.

Still, the deal with the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland.

The DUP said the "talks so far have been positive", adding: "Discussions will continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement on arrangements for the new Parliament". After May/Downing St. said it had deal with DUP party on governing, DUP says not true. That means the DUP would back the government on confidence motions and budget votes, but it's not a coalition government or a broader pact.

"The Conservatives have not yet broken the British system of democracy, but through their hubris and incompetence they have managed to make a mockery of it", it said in an editorial.

- David Blevins (@skydavidblevins) June 10, 2017NEW: Downing St now backtracking on having sorted confidence and supply deal with DUP.

The government does not have long to ink a deal.

"If the government, if the prime minister is dependent on the DUP then all sorts of back-room deals will be done which could impact on the Good Friday process - could put it in jeopardy and could destroy confidence amongst other parties". It aligns London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is suspended.

Her real test is likely to come when MPs vote on her program after it is outlined in parliament by Queen Elizabeth II on June 19. The speech will be followed by several days of debate and a vote - and defeat would nearly certainly topple the government. The vast majority of Roman Catholics vote for the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) or Sinn Fein, with a few supporting the Alliance Party - a centrist, non-sectarian group with limited influence.

  • Leroy Wright