NIreland's DUP considering support for UK PM May's Conservatives

The Latest on Britain's parliamentary election (all times local): 7:55 a.m. Britain's news media says Theresa May has no intention of giving up the post of prime minister even though her Conservative Party lost its majority in the House of Commons in Thursday's general election.

In order to remain in power, Conservative party leader Theresa May on Friday struck a deal with a tiny Irish party which has links to paramilitary groups, count climate change deniers among its most prominent members, is anti same sex marriage and abortion, and has a sizeable portion of its membership who believe in young earth creationism.

Anna Soubry, a prominent government minister, overnight fueled the speculation by saying: "She's in a very hard place, she's a remarkable and a very talented woman and she doesn't shy from hard decisions, but she now has to obviously consider her position".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged her to resign and allow him to form a minority administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve this country". She then announced to the public she would work with "our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party".

Labour accused the Prime Minister "burying her head in the sand" in trying to carry on as though nothing had happened.

Most European politicians were dismayed at the apparently inconclusive nature of the election result, particularly on how Brexit - for which there is no precedent - should be negotiated.

I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen.

"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", Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster told reporters.

Corbyn, who was pilloried by the British press as "Red Jez" for his socialist policy manifesto, said his party's upsurge meant that he was the real victor.

"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".

Confident of securing a sweeping victory, May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks.

If all this uncertainty weren't enough, the Labour Party, which won 261 seats in the election, has its own divisions to deal with.

It said the campaign failed to get "Theresa's positive plan for the future across" or "notice the surge in Labour support, because modern campaigning techniques require ever-narrower targeting of specific voters, and we were not talking to the people who chose to vote for Labour". "I certainly think that there will be contact made over the weekend but I think it is too soon to talk about what we're going to do", she said.

That leaves the DUP, which has 10 seats and has forged alliances with Conservative governments before, as May's only likely coalition partner.

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the PM had returned to No 10 a "diminished figure", having ended up with 12 fewer seats than when she called the election in April.

"Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years", Mrs May said.

  • Leroy Wright