May-Northern Ireland's DUP deal thrown into confusion

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party are considering supporting Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives in parliament after she failed to win a majority in a national election, Sky News reported on Friday, citing sources.

May's Conservatives won 318 seats in the election, falling short of the 326 required for an absolute majority.

In the absence of a formal coalition, May's government would survive from vote to vote in parliament - and with such a slim majority over the progressive parties, they would be vulnerable to defeats if there were absences or a threat to cross the floor.

The result was a personal humiliation for Mrs May who called the election three years before she had to to bolster her position in Parliament as she embarked on the negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

According to media accounts, internal pressure on May led to the resignation on Saturday of the Prime Minister's two co-chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who have been blamed for their role in designing the Conservatives' campaign and the parliamentary setback.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she had lost all legitimacy and called on her to stand aside and allow him to form an alternative administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve".

May's office announced on Saturday that the DUP had agreed to support her government on the basis of a "confidence and supply" arrangement in parliament, a development that is due to be discussed in her cabinet on Monday.

May said Barwell would help her "reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for".

May said that her government would lead the country through upcoming Brexit negotiations with the European Union, and that she will work to keep the country safe following the recent attacks in London and Manchester.

"She can not last, her position is untenable", he said.

The DUP is a natural ally for the Conservatives.

"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.

"I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality, that's not a matter for me, when it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage".

Concessions on such issues would seriously damage efforts by the DUP to secure a deal with Sinn Fein to restore Northern Ireland's devolved government, which collapsed in January.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: "The Foreign Secretary is 100% supporting the PM and working with her to get the best deal for Britain".

"I don't think throwing us into a leadership battle at this moment in time, when we are about to launch into these hard negotiations, would be in the best interests of the country", Evans said.

  • Leroy Wright