May seeks DUP support to form government

Nick Mcbride
June 11, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May is looking to Northern Ireland for support in forming a new government now that her Conservative Party has lost its majority status in Parliament.

This week's election left the Conservatives several seats short of a majority in Parliament, so they are seeking a deal with the Northern Ireland-based DUP, which won 10 seats.

"We have not made any comment and won't until later on today", a spokeswoman for the party told Reuters.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip stand on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, London, after addressing the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham. "Folk might remember I fought a leadership campaign on the other side of that particular argument", she said.

Davidson's Scottish Conservatives went from one seat to 13 in the election, giving the national party one of its few success stories on the night.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson said his party was in a "fantastic position to deliver for Northern Ireland".

The pro-UK party, which has held eight of Northern Ireland's 18 seats in the House of Commons since the 2015 polls, kept its Westminster seats for Lagan Valley and Strangford, Sky News said.

But suddenly, with the Conservatives lacking a majority and scrambling to form a government, the DUP have emerged as key players in May's bid to cling onto power.

The move comes after the Prome Minister said she would seek to form a minority government with a "confidence and supply" agreement with the controversial Northern Irish party.

The party remains ideologically opposed to same-sex marriage and has successfully kept the policy from being implemented in the territory of Northern Ireland.

Mr Robinson said: "We have essentially got the result we were campaigning for two years ago".

The DUP is against abortion, with many supporters regarding it as murder.

"They are wrong and they need to understand why we take those positions from a faith point of view and why we want to protect the definition of marriage", she said.

But another prominent internal critic, former education secretary Nicky Morgan, said Mrs May should "carry on" and was "entitled" to see whether she can form an administration.

In 1971, Paisley, who had broken with the mainstream Presbyterians to found his own fundamentalist and evangelical Free Presbyterian Church, stepped in to fill the void with his DUP.

She said despite losing a dozen MPs in the June 8 poll, she meant to press ahead with her plans to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union and forge a new trade deal with its former partners.

DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed that she had spoken to May and would be talking with the Conservatives about "how it may it be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge".

"I think it's a disaster for Ireland in that we are now back in the old sectarian swamp in the north, with one party effectively representing Protestants and another representing Catholics, and nothing moderate or nonsectarian in between", said Andy Pollak, former director of the Center for Cross Border Studies.

Other reports by VgToday

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