Theresa May's 'clique' blamed for disastrous result by senior Tories

British Prime Minister Theresa May's party members are "absolutely furious" at May's risky election gamble that has led to talks with the right-wing, anti-abortion, anti-equal marriage Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne told BBC's Andrew Marr show Sunday.

May's office said Saturday that the Democratic Unionist Party, which has 10 seats in Parliament, had agreed to a "confidence and supply" arrangement with the government.

"We welcome this commitment, which can provide the stability and certainty the whole country requires as we embark on Brexit and beyond".

The DUP does not work or negotiate on Sundays for religious reasons, but officials from both sides are due to meet on Monday, and DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet May on Tuesday.

Yesterday, early favourite for the leadership Boris Johnson, took to social media saying: "Delighted to be reappointed Foreign Secretary".

Her remarks made clear that she is planning to form a minority government with backing from the DUP - rather than entering a formal coalition with the party.

One of the main criticisms aimed at the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before the election campaign was that he did not step up to his role as leader of the opposition.

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said it may now be possible to discuss closer ties between Britain and the EU than May had initially planned, given her election flop.

MPs and ministers also feel they were treated disdainfully by May's two chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, who resigned over the weekend as the PM tried to make concessions.

They were replaced by Gavin Barwell, a former housing minister who lost his seat in the election.

The resignations of Timothy and Hill, on whom May has been heavily reliant since her previous job at the interior ministry, will be a personal blow. Since the election, most of the members of May's cabinet have kept quiet on the issue of her future, adding to speculation that her days as prime minister are numbered.

"In truth, no-one expected the outcome of the snap general election to be a hung Parliament, and for the DUP to be in such an influential position", she said.

Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland, said she had asked May for assurances that there would be no attack on gay rights after a deal with the DUP.

It was not immediately clear what the DUP's demands might be and one DUP lawmaker suggested support might come vote by vote.

Ms Davidson, who is gay, spoke out after Theresa May outlined a plan to seek a deal with the socially hardline party, which has 10 seats in the Commons, to prop up her minority administration.

There are also concerns about the potential impact of the proposed arrangement on Northern Ireland's peace agreement, which relies in part on London being an impartial arbiter between those, such as the DUP, who want the province to remain in the United Kingdom and those who want it to be part of Ireland.

On June 19, the Queen, in traditional state coach and full regalia, will travel from Buckingham Palace to Parliament to unveil the new government's legislative agenda.

European Council President Donald Tusk had warned there was "no time to lose" in starting Brexit talks, after May on March 29 started the two-year countdown to ending Britain's four-decade membership.

  • Leroy Wright


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