May to face Conservative Party questioning over poll setback

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

The talks with the DUP follow her apology to Conservative rank-and-file lawmakers in a meeting for the party's poor election result.

Playing down the prospect of an immediate challenge to Mrs May's leadership, Brexit Minister David Davis - who has been touted as a contender to replace the prime minister - said speculation about her removal was "unbelievably self-indulgent".

With the two-year clock on Brexit ticking away since March, when a letter from May formally started proceedings, Barnier dismissed suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street after the general election in London, on June 12, 2017.

Senior figures, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is touted as the favourite to replace May should she be forced out, have pledged loyalty and called on colleagues to rally behind her. "Now is the time for delivery - and Theresa May is the right person to continue that vital work".

Despite her party's expectations of a landslide victory, May lost her majority in parliament, pushing her into rushed talks on a support agreement with a small Eurosceptic Northern Irish Protestant party with 10 parliamentary seats.

To loud cheers, he said: "Now as parliament returns, we have a government in complete disarray still unable to reach an agreement, it seems, with the DUP and desperately delaying the Queen's Speech and Brexit negotiations".

Since coming to power, May has advocated a "hard" Brexit, which would entail Britain leaving the European single market and cutting immigration from the bloc.

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Labour's Yvette Cooper suggested that the Tories' deal with the DUP could put the Northern Ireland peace process in jeopardy. Downing Street has warned that direct rule from London could be imposed if no solution is found before ta June 29 deadline.

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Davis also said walking away without securing a deal with the remaining 27 European Union states remained a possibility. "I think most of the Scottish Conservatives will want to see perhaps some changes with the policy going forward".

"I think there is a unity of objective among people in the United Kingdom", May said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

Brexit will likely be on the agenda at the Paris meeting, after May confirmed she will stick to the negotiating timetable.

Gove, who has just been brought back to May's Cabinet as Environment Secretary, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that it was important to "achieve a deal that can command the widest possible support".

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned London not to waste time, as Brussels waits for embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May to name a date for talks.

Labour's unexpectedly strong second-place showing has thrown national politics into disarray. Foster, who is due to meet May on Tuesday, could insist that Britain stay in the customs union, and that would probably make it easier to keep an open border with the Irish Republic.

Mrs Foster said: "There's been a lot of commentary around the issues that we are talking about and it won't surprise anyone that we are talking about matters that pertain, of course, to the nation generally".

May will attempt to broker a deal with lawmakers in Northern Ireland later Tuesday in order to form a so-called "supply and confidence" arrangement that will allow her to have enough votes in parliament to pass her government's near-term ambitions - known as the Queen's Speech - and stave-off any attempt to strike down legislation and trigger fresh elections.

Other reports by VgToday

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