British PM Theresa May's top aides resign after election fiasco

May reached out to Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which won 10 seats, to forge a working majority. This makes them the biggest anti-abortion party in the country.

For many British voters, the feeling after the country's third major vote in as many years was weariness.

They were replaced by Gavin Barwell, a former housing minister who lost his seat in the election.

Early favourites for the role as Party leader include Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and David Davis.

As rumours swirled about plots to oust May, Johnson denied he was planning a leadership challenge. But Johnson said he backed May.

May's chief of staff Nick Timothy, left, and Joint-chief of staff Fiona Hill leave the Conservative Party headquarter on Friday.

The BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith said the pair's departure bought the PM some "breathing space" following 24 hours of recriminations after the Conservatives lost their overall majority.

After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including finance minister Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May must name the rest of her team, who will take on one of the most demanding jobs in recent British history.

Timothy said he took responsibility for the Conservative manifesto, including a plan for elderly social care that caused a backlash among many core voters.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, one of May's most loyal supporters, said he disagreed with Osborne's description of her as a "dead woman walking" and he expected Conservative lawmakers to rally behind her.

"The prime minister has tonight spoken with the DUP to discuss finalizing a confidence and supply deal when Parliament returns next week", a Downing Street spokeswoman said, referring to a deal whereby the DUP would support the government but not enter a formal coalition.

'As we're the party that won the most seats and most votes we are the only party in a position to form a government, ' May said.

"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".

The British government does not have long to ink a deal. She called the early election with her party comfortably ahead in the polls in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain's hand in exit talks with the European Union.

But her party is deeply divided over what it wants from Brexit, and the election result means British businesses still have no idea what trading rules they can expect in the coming years.

U.K. Independence Party said "Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy". "For instance, if London were to stay in the customs union, then it would not have to renegotiate all trade agreements", he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

The pound on Friday fell 1.7 per cent against the USA dollar and 1.4 per cent against the euro. But it will be another blow to the prime minister, who has been heavily reliant on their advice and support since her previous job as home secretary.

The DUP have not yet confirmed the news of the agreement and said talks were continuing on an agreement.

Tusk spelt out the problem on Twitter: "We don't know when Brexit talks start".

However, Mrs May insisted that, as the leader of the largest party in the new parliament, she had a duty to act in the "national interest".

The Sun newspaper said senior members of the party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they feared a leadership contest could propel Labour's Jeremy Corbyn into power.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said it is not even clear whether May will now lead those negotiations.

Last December, Hill also told senior Conservative lawmaker Nicky Morgan to keep away from Downing Street after criticising the premier for her expensive leather pants. "If she has an ounce of self-respect, she will resign", said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, while Conservative M.P. and former minister Anna Soubry said May "is in a very hard place... she now has to obviously consider her position".

  • Leroy Wright