Britain's May seeks deal with Northern Irish party to cling to power

  • Britain's May seeks deal with Northern Irish party to cling to power

Britain's May seeks deal with Northern Irish party to cling to power

Overnight there was confusion over the status of an agreement with the DUP, with Downing Street initially saying the principles had been agreed before issuing another statement saying negotiations continued.

The two parties are expected to produce a "programme for government".

After frantic consultations with DUP leader Arlene Foster, the Prime Minister headed to Buckingham Palace to seek the formal permission of the Queen to form a new government, returning to No 10 to announce she had the "legitimacy" to continue in office.

On a night of high drama, Mrs May - who went into the election with a majority of 17 - fell eight seats short of an overall majority.

Former DUP Stormont minister Edwin Poots once hit out at a gay rugby team in Belfast, accusing it of introducing a sporting "apartheid" against heterosexual players.

In more recent times, former first minister Peter Robinson's wife Iris, then an MP, described homosexuality as an "abomination", while the MP son of Dr Paisley, Ian Paisley Jr, said he felt "repulsed" by homosexual acts. There was also the famous line that: "No deal is better than a bad deal".

This weekend, she has been seeking the support of the Democratic Unionist Party to form a new government after a disappointing result for Conservatives in Thursday's election.

She hailed her party's historic election victory of securing 36% of the vote. "In other words, we could easily get to the middle of next week and it all collapses for her". The Union is our guiding star. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage". May's unionist allies in the province also want to avoid a hard border.BUT.On Scotland, May and the European Union doubt a "differentiated deal" on trade and migration can work, while Spain, battling Catalan separatists, may block it.

Ms Foster described the uncertainty facing the United Kingdom, following the recent terror attacks, the close run election and Brexit negotiations looming.

"Confidence and supply" means the DUP would vote with the Tories on a case-by-case basis, but not have any Cabinet members, as in a coalition government.

"The Tories may be in government for now, but their model and lack of ambition is unsustainable".

DUP sources told the paper its list of demands would be similar to its 2015 "Northern Ireland" plan, when the party laid out its price for supporting either a minority Tory or Labour administration, including more funding for Northern Ireland's schools and hospitals and at least a 50% cut or the total abolition of air passenger duty in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein has insisted that it won't change its abstentionist policy even to help Mr Corbyn in the Commons.

Hill is known for her aggressive treatment of senior ministers and other May staff, while Timothy is considered responsible for shaping the Conservative election platform, which proved so unpopular with voters that one Conservative member of Parliament, Nigel Evans, said, "We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot; we shot ourselves in the head". "Nationalists and republicans have turned their back on Westminster and accept that the centre of political gravity is now on the island of Ireland".

However, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on the Andrew Marr show he believed the Conservative Party and the DUP will be able to hold together in government.

When asked about her future, senior Conservative lawmaker Owen Paterson said "Let's see how it pans out".

"But I would like to make clear that the weird media reports about my own role in the policy's inclusion are wrong: it had been the subject of many months of work within Whitehall, and it was not my personal pet project".

Its message appears to strike a different chord to that taken by Prime Minister Theresa May this week.