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United Kingdom election disaster sees PM fight to stay

11 Juin 2017

Davidson was one of the few Conservative success stories in the election as the Scottish wing of the party won 13 seats in Scotland.

Joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill formed part of May's small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party's lacklustre campaign and unpopular election platform, which alienated older voters with its plan to make them pay more for long-term care.

ANNA SOUBRY, Member of Parliament, Conservative Party: This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party and we need to take stock, and our leader needs to take stock as well. She ignored the 48 percent of the country that did not vote for Brexit, calling them "citizens of nowhere". The protestant unionist parties in Northern Ireland do have traditional links with the Conservative party on mainland Great Britain, so they would seem natural bedfellows for Theresa May. It is unclear, however, how stable such a government can be and how long May can stay at its helm.

British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives back at 10 Downing Street after announcing she would form a minority government. Since the election, most of the members of May's cabinet have kept quiet on the issue of her future, adding to speculation that her days as prime minister are numbered.

On the one hand, a weakened Conservative prime minister might not have the power to resist calls from some within the party who want that clean break, even if that means losing privileged access to the European Union single market.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster recently denied the party was homophobic.

Instead of improving the Conservative hold on the House, she weakened it to the point that it will only take four dissidents from the coalition membership to topple the government.

Just after noon, May was driven the short distance from her official Downing Street residence to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system.

But, unlike during the election campaign, when she repeatedly referred to the talks starting on 19 June, she wasn't specific about the date, suggesting it might slip.

A controversial working relationship between the British Conservatives and the North Ireland Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was agreed in principle Saturday.

And crucially they debated whether the voters had rejected Brexit - or at least Prime Minister Theresa May's hard version of a break with the European Union, which would see Britain not only relinquish EU membership but leave the single market and the bloc's customs union. "At such a critical time, the prime minister must be clear with the people about the deal she has stitched up with the DUP behind closed doors".

She said: "Well, of course, as I've said many times during the campaign, I have wanted to achieve a larger majority, but that was not the result that we secured". Yet, other than continuing vetoes over same-sex marriage and abortion legalisation, the DUP leadership will not be interested in reinforcing the party's religious outlook.

All of this will certainly make Brexit negotiations more complex.

For instance, Menon said, some pro-EU Conservative legislators may wait until the Brexit legislative program comes to Parliament to start attacking it.

United Kingdom election disaster sees PM fight to stay