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Britain's Theresa May apologises to own MPs for election 'mess'

13 Juin 2017

At the meeting with lawmakers in Parliament, May recognised that a broader consensus needed to be built for Brexit and made clear that she would listen to all wings of the party on the issue.

Mrs May met the committee amid suggestions from some Conservative MPs that she would have to stand down following the disastrous election result which has resulted in the Tories seeking support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to prop up their Government.

"I really don't think she realised what was happening around her".

Tom Tugendhat, a Tory MP, said: "Three questions on DUP deal".

"I've served the party since I was 12. I believe that's important".

No. There was no immediate election when she replaced David Cameron past year and the Fixed Term Parliaments Act remains in place, requiring two thirds of MPs to vote for an early election. The Scottish National Party lost a large number of seats to the Conservatives in a clear message that the Scots are sick of referendums and wish to remain in the Union.

As Prime Minister Theresa May tried to shore up her authority after losing her Conservative government's majority in an election she had called to strengthen her hand in the European Union talks, her Brexit Secretary David Davis said negotiations may not now start on June 19 as May had previously said.

But emails to Hillary Clinton when she was USA secretary of state, released in 2015, show the former New Labour spin doctor sat in a meeting where a deal between Labour and the DUP was proposed.

Finally, May has announced a partial reshuffle of her cabinet, including the return of Michael Gove and Damien Green, the latter being a well known pro-European MP.

The words "strong and stable" will haunt the rest of the Prime Minister's political career, if she manages to survive what is the most turbulent time in British politics in over 40 years - and this after promising us stability.

But this was what one minister said about his demeanour during the meeting: "When the room cheered her to the rafters, his face was a picture; he did not look happy".

The outcome of last week's vote has also thrown into doubt what Britain would seek from Brexit talks with the European Union, complex negotiations which will have profound implications for the world's fifth largest economy.

She isn't being helped by her Brexit minister, David Davis, who when asked in a television interview Monday whether the government should now listen to business and pursue a softer break with Europe insisted the hard Brexit plan hadn't changed. Almost 72 percent of IoD members said "reaching a new trade agreement with the EU" should be the highest priority of the new government. "Theresa May is a dead woman walking". "[The question] is just how long she is going to remain on death row". Several have said that she seeks to concentrate too much power in her immediate circle, leaving her cabinet and parliament powerless.

The Prime Minister's former communications chief Katie Perrior, who left Downing Street when the election was called, attacked the two aides at the weekend for their "rude, abusive, childish behaviour".

"There was a real sense around the Cabinet table today, as you would expect from centre right politicians, that that is the primacy we're looking for", she told BBC News. But the DUP's support will ensure that at least May and her government have a fighting chance. The DUP does not work or negotiate on Sundays for religious reasons, but officials from both sides are due to meet on Monday, and DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet May on Tuesday.

Now the British and Irish Governments act as non-partisan mediators between Sinn Féin, the DUP and all parties within the Northern Ireland Assembly. DUP is strongly anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage, for example - stances that aren't very popular in the rest of the UK.

However, since the election some prominent figures in British politics who also played leading roles in the peace process have rightly argued that the planned Conservative-DUP deal could risk undermining that role, as well as the Good Friday agreement and power sharing in Northern Ireland more widely. "The only conclusion I can draw... is that the election has changed absolutely nothing for Brexit". But aside from wanting to push back against Irish republicanism, the party that was founded by the charismatic Presbyterian preacher Ian Paisley is also ultra socially conservative and Eurosceptic.

Britain's Theresa May apologises to own MPs for election 'mess'