Tory leadership battle 'unwise' says former cabinet member

However the announcement on Friday that Prime Minister Theresa May would form a new government with support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), after her Conservative party fell short of a parliamentary majority, raised concerns from LGBT and women's rights campaigners.

Flanked by her 10 MPs, the DUP leader was vague about what her party will request from the Conservatives in exchange for keeping Mrs May in Downing Street.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she had spoken to the Prime Minister and her party would enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge.

But the ballot-box humiliation has seriously - and possibly mortally - wounded her leadership just as Britain is about to begin complex exit talks with the European Union.

The BBC predicted Ms May's Conservative Party would end up with 319 seats, with Labour forecast to get 261 (326 is needed for a majority).

Jeffrey Donaldson, a DUP member of parliament, said the election outcome created the "perfect territory" to secure concessions from the Conservatives.

Former Tory health minister Nicola Blackwood, defeated by the Liberal Democrats in Oxford West and Abingdon, said "no party has been a winner" at the election.

UK's leading LGBTI charity Stonewall, condemned the coalition between the Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) yesterday (9 June).

"I make no apology for saying that the DUP will always strive for the best deal for Northern Ireland and its people".

"As we are the party that won most seats and most votes, we are the only party that is in a position to form a government that can do that".

Reminded that the party had lost seats, Mr Barwell replied: "I'm not trying to pretend it's a triumph, clearly we didn't get the result we hoped to get".

May has apologised to Conservative MPs who lost their seats in the vote and has announced a minor cabinet reshuffle to try to shore up her power base.

It's not clear whether the relationship will now become more public, delegations walking up Downing Street, or whether they'll keep their bartering behind closed doors.

Mrs May's joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill resigned in the wake of the election which saw Mrs May lose her Commons majority.

The DUP, one of the most socially conservative parties in Europe, has fought to maintain tight restrictions on abortion and opposes gay marriage.

A giant screen on Sky News asked "WHO ARE THE DUP?" and data from Google showed searches spiked significantly in the hours after the election results emerged.

"It's an issue very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurances from the prime minister on, and I received (them)", said Davidson, who is engaged to be married to her female partner.

  • Leroy Wright