UK leader May strikes tentative deal with N Ireland party
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 16:43
Senior Conservatives had reportedly made the resignations of Timothy and Hill a condition for supporting the prime minister's leadership in the new government.
May has managed to strike a deal to prop up her minority government.
British Prime Minister Theresa May reached an "outline agreement" on Saturday (June 10) with the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party in order to be able to govern after a humiliating election that has left her authority in tatters.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a new chief of staff following the resignation of her two top aides.
The Conservative leader has been warned her days are numbered after calling Thursday's vote three years early, only to lose her majority in parliament.
Timothy and Hill had worked for May when she was interior minister, before she became premier in July past year in the chaotic days that followed the Brexit vote. The prime minister can not risk anyone resigning in anger.
May's Downing St. office said Conservative Chief Whip Gavin Williamson was in Belfast Saturday for talks with the DUP "on how best they can provide support to the government".
The change may help to quell some of the unrest within the party.
"We can confirm that the Democratic Unionist Party have agreed to the principles of an outline agreement to support the Conservative government", a spokesman for May said on Saturday.
However, it's not just the support of another party May needs to ensure.
A deal between the government and the DUP could also unsettle the precarious balance between Northern Ireland's British loyalist and Irish nationalist parties.
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.
The crisis also increases the chance that Britain will fall out of the European Union in 2019 without a deal.
May called the early election when her party was comfortably ahead in the polls, in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain's hand in exit talks with the EU.
Mrs May's 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.
EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said it could be possible to discuss closer ties between Britain and the EU than May had initially planned.
The British pound tumbled on Friday against the US dollar and the euro before stabilising, down 1.7 and 1.4 percent against the two currencies respectively. The news came as Ms May prepared to name the rest of her Cabinet, after revealing on Friday that her five most senior ministers would remain in their posts.
Britain's typically pro-Conservative press questioned whether Mrs May could remain in power with the clock ticking on the two-year European Union divorce process.
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves a polling station after casting his vote in north London on June 8, 2017, as Britain holds a general election.
"She's staying, for now", one Conservative Party source told Reuters.
In an opinion piece in The Times entitled "Working in No 10, I was staggered by the arrogance of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill" she said how both aides For were rude and abusive to Cabinet members.
May's party won 318 seats, eight short of the 326 they needed for an outright majority.
The Times newspaper's front page declared that Britain was "effectively leaderless" and the country "all but ungovernable".
The arrangement makes some Conservatives uneasy.
Managing that process will not be easy.
Conservative Party insiders are also wondering how long Mrs May will last.