May says minority government talks 'productive', Brexit negotiation starts next week

May's weakened position in the party ruled out big changes. The room was packed with lawmakers and government officials, including foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Gove, a long-time opponent who was dismissed when May became prime minister a year ago, will now serve as environment secretary.

Mr Baker heads the European Research Group, a caucus of Eurosceptic MPs who helped to pressurise David Cameron into holding last year's referendum on EU membership.

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.

"I congratulate her on returning and I'm sure she'll agree with me that democracy is a wondrous thing, and can throw up some very unexpected results", he said.

But rumors swirled of plots to oust May.

And Mr Umunna and Yvette Cooper, another former leadership contender, are also in line for jobs.

Former Prime Minister John Major said he was concerned a deal with the DUP could thrust the province back towards violence almost two decades since a USA -brokered peace deal brought peace to Northern Ireland. Labour surpassed expectations by winning 262.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, which saw its number of parliamentary seats and share of the vote increase, said there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after last Thursday's vote produced no clear victor.

Many senior Conservatives say May should stay, for now, to provide stability.

"Discussions are going well with the government", Foster said on Twitter.

He acknowledged that the government would now be unable to get numerous measures promised in its election platform through Parliament. It was originally pencilled in for Monday, June 12 but has now been pushed back until later in the week. but there's a hitch.The Royal Ascot horse race meeting starts on Tuesday and lasts for the rest of the week.

But since coming to power three weeks after the shock vote to leave the European Union, the prime minister has advocated a hard Brexit, which would entail Britain leaving the single market and cutting immigration from the bloc.

May has shown little public contrition for her electoral gamble that backfired spectactularly, but was forced to accept the resignations of her two top aides - reportedly a requirement by cabinet colleagues for allowing her to stay in office.

"We take a particular view in relation to the definition of marriage; that does not mean in any one way that we are homophobic".

The Conservative Party fell eight seats short of retaining its parliamentary majority, and is now in talks with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - which won 10 seats - to forge an informal alliance.

Foster's rivals in Northern Ireland, such as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, have objected, describing any partnership between the Conservatives and the DUP as "a coalition of chaos".

The alliance makes some modernizing Conservatives uneasy.

The proposed "supply and confidence" deal would see the DUP back the Conservatives in votes on the Budget and confidence motions.

However, putting the pro-British unionist DUP in a position of influence in London could also undermine the British government's ability, enshrined in a 1998 peace agreement, to function as an impartial broker between Northern Ireland's unionists and its Catholic Irish nationalists.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny tweeted Sunday that he had spoken with May "and indicated my concern that nothing should happen to put (the Good Friday Agreement) at risk".

London's neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

The British government doesn't have long to ink a deal.

The crunch talks could also force the delay of the government's presentation of its legislative programme to parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, due on June 19. It has already been indicated the ceremony could be delayed by several days. By tradition, defeat on a Queen's Speech vote topples the government.

Theresa May's premiership has no mandate and no legitimacy, Jeremy Corbyn told Labour's MPs as he declared: "We are now a government in waiting". Without the amendments, he said Labour would try to vote down the speech. To this end I have sought a meeting with Theresa May as a matter of urgency.

  • Julie Sanders