Doubts over Theresa May´s grip on power as DUP deal talks continue

Pauline Gross
June 11, 2017

Speaking outside Downing Street about the DUP, Mrs May stated that: "Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years".

DUP leader Arlene Foster with MPs at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast.

Britain's minority Conservative government says it has struck a provisional deal with a minor party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to help get its programme through parliament.

The DUP agreed to supporting to the government on a "confidence and supply" basis, which would involve it supporting a Conservative minority government on key votes in parliament but not forming a formal coalition partnership.

Following talks between Mrs May and the DUP on Saturday night, a second statement confirmed that no final deal had been reached.

"We will enter discussions with the Conservatives about how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge", said Arlene Foster, the head of the DUP.

Downing St. said the Cabinet will discuss the agreement on Monday.

"We welcome this commitment, which can provide the stability and certainty the whole country requires as we embark on Brexit and beyond", a spokesman for the Prime Minister's office said Saturday.

The details of the agreement are not yet known but Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said it "simply won't work" if it includes any change to abortion laws or "dilution" of gay rights.

It continued: "The talks so far have been positive".

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The Conservatives lost an absolute majority they had enjoyed prior to the snap election on June 8, which May had called to strengthen her hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiations slated for June 19.

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

And in a phone call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the PM attempted to show it's business as usual by confirming she'll start Brexit talks as planned in the "next couple of weeks".

Amid a febrile atmosphere among Tory MPs, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, is reported to be preparing a new bid to become Prime Minister as Mrs May's grip on No. 10 becomes increasingly fragile.

He told BBC Newsnight: "I think this current arrangement may well prove to be reckless, but we will have to wait and see".

The statement said the DUP had already agreed to the principles of a proposal to support the Conservatives.

"I can still be Prime Minister". Absolutely. Theresa May has been to the Palace.

She seems secure for the immediate future, because senior Conservatives don't want to plunge the party into a damaging leadership contest.

"I asked for a categoric assurance that if any deal or scoping deal was done with the DUP there would be absolutely no rescission of LGBTI rights in the rest of the United Kingdom, in Great Britain, and that we would use any influence that we had to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland".

Several hundred people - many of them Labour voters - protested in central London against the alliance, with chants of "racist, sexist, anti-gay, the DUP has got to go".

Other reports by GizPress

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