United Kingdom prime minister insists she is staying put

Nick Mcbride
June 12, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May's two chiefs of staff have resigned in the wake of the Conservative Party's disastrous election result.

Indeed, had Labour gained just a few more seats, May would not have been able to form a majority coalition at all, leading either to Corbyn being asked to form a government, or new elections being called.

After the Conservatives failed to win a majority, Prime Minister Theresa May says she can rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.

The U.K.is facing a hung Parliament and May has resisted calls to resign, after her Tories lost 12 seats and the rival Labour Party picked up 29, with one regional election still not final.

After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including finance minister Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May was expected to appoint a team that will take on one of the most demanding negotiations in British history. On Friday, May announced that she would form a new government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, which was founded by Protestant firebrand Ian Paisley and which in the past has shared power with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Party, in Northern Ireland. This is her opportunity to do so and I urge her to take it immediately.

She called the early election with her party comfortably ahead in the polls in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain's hand in exit talks with the European Union.

The attacks only put May under more scrutiny for national security decisions she made during her tenure as Home Secretary, a role she held for six years in the government of her predecessor, David Cameron.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said there had been "very good discussions" so far on how her 10 MPs could support a Conservative minority government, and she would travel to London to meet May on Tuesday.

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But she seems secure for the immediate future, because senior Conservatives don't want to plunge the party into a damaging leadership contest. The Tories needed 326 seats to win but fell short by eight.

The arrangement with the DUP will make governing easier, but it makes some Conservatives uneasy.

Johnson denied the reports as "tripe" and said: "I am backing Theresa May". "We need stability", she said. The negotiations had been due to start around June 19.

But a dismal campaign has left the Prime Minister fending off a mutiny in her own party.

It was also likely to seek to include Northern Ireland in the "Military Covenant", which ensures that veterans of the British armed forces receive priority medical treatment in the remainder of the United Kingdom.

The stunning election result comes after a campaign in which May lost popularity over her style and some of her social care policies, including a so-called "dementia tax" that would force the elderly to pay more for their care.

A deal between the government and the DUP could also unsettle the precarious balance between Northern Ireland's British loyalist and Irish nationalist parties.

Commentators in Northern Ireland say Foster and the leaders of the pro-republican Sinn Fein party have already been set an end of June deadline to come up with power-sharing arrangements to rescue the devolved Northern Ireland assembly which is now dissolved.

Other reports by VgToday

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