British Prime Minister Theresa May's Top Aides Quit Following Election Result
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 7:37
"Theresa May is a dead woman walking".
May's Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in Thursday's vote and need the support of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's DUP to attain a majority.
That timeline now looks even more ambitious than before, not least because May's electoral debacle has emboldened those within her own party who object to her "hard Brexit" approach of leaving the European single market and customs union.
"Mr Corbyn said Labour is quite ready and able to put forward a serious programme of government", which he said "obviously has massive support in this country".
The deal with the DUP is on a "confidence and supply" basis, which means the party would lend its support to block no confidence votes and pass budgets. "Theresa May has lost credibility and leverage in her party, her country and across Europe". Her weakened position in the party rules out big changes, and 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 denied the reports as "tripe" and said: "I am backing Theresa May".
Apart from the defeat of the Conservatives, the important trend is the rise of the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, who is sure that soon May will be replaced and the Labour party will prevail. By tradition, defeat on a Queen's Speech vote topples the government.
"Discussions will continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement on arrangements for the new parliament".
The DUP has proved hugely controversial in the past over the homophobic and sectarian views of some of its representatives.
Former party leaders have warned any immediate leadership challenge would be too disruptive, but many believe Mrs May can not survive in the long-term.
Two of her closest aides, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who had been the focus of some criticism, resigned on Saturday.
The resignations of Timothy and Hill, on whom May had been heavily reliant since her previous job at the interior ministry, will be a personal blow.
May is seeking a deal with a Northern Irish party to prop up the Conservative minority government, and lawmakers said the rebuff from voters meant the government would have to abandon planned policies and re-think its strategy for European Union exit talks. Most of May's cabinet members have kept quiet on the issue of her future, adding to speculation that her days as prime minister are numbered.
May's party won 318 seats, 12 fewer than it had before the snap election, and eight short of the 326 needed for an outright majority.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror newspaper Mr Corbyn said: "I can still be Prime Minister. There's a possibility of voting it down and we're going to push that all the way". The DUP is a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and had links to Protestant paramilitary groups during Ireland's sectarian "Troubles".
On Brexit, the DUP supports leaving the European Union but opposes a return to a "hard" border with Ireland - which could happen if May carries through her threat to walk away from the talks rather than accept a "bad deal".
Earlier, she had made clear of her desire to secure support from "friends and allies" in the DUP ahead of the Queen's Speech on 19 June.