Pressure mounts on May to resign after election stumble

  • Pressure mounts on May to resign after election stumble

Pressure mounts on May to resign after election stumble

Referring to the "strong relationship" she had with the DUP, May said the new government would "guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks" that begin in 10 days.

May's Conservatives won 318 seats in the election, falling short of the 326 required for an absolute majority.

But it will be another blow to the prime minister, who has been heavily reliant on their advice and support since her previous job at the interior ministry.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has reached an outline agreement with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in an alliance that would allow her to remain in power after the Tory's weak performance in Thursday's general elections.

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.

In another sign of the dangers facing Mrs May, Sunday papers reported that Boris Johnson was either being encouraged to make a leadership bid in an effort to oust her, or actually preparing one - a claim dismissed as "tripe" by the Foreign Secretary.

The humiliating result has heaped pressure on May to resign, but she says she will stay and lead Britain during exit talks with the European Union.

In a hint at the approach she wanted, she said: "It is about making sure that we put free trade at the heart of what it is we seek to achieve as we leave".

The Conservative setback was only matched by the Scottish Nationalist Party's (SNP) loss of 21 seats.

"I felt what the prime minister needs when you're going through a tough time like negotiating Brexit is diplomats, not street fighters", Perrior, who quit before the election, told BBC radio.

"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", said the MP, who is a lesbian. "A broader backing for Brexit has to be built and I think she recognises that", one former minister said.

The Daily Mail's headline was "Tories turn on Theresa" after Conservatives told media that the party was discussing the prospect of another election and potential candidates to replace May.

Their tally is 13 less than the seats they had won during last election.

Mrs May was working on a Cabinet reshuffle, although the election result makes it less likely she will risk alienating colleagues by making wholesale changes as she can not afford to have disgruntled former ministers sniping at her from the backbenches.

Among Tory MPs there was anger at the way a 20-point lead in the opinion polls when she called the election in had been squandered in the course of a campaign which was widely condemned as flat-footed and uninspiring.

May is expected to form the new government after talks with the DUP next week, only days before the country's historic Brexit negotiations with the European Union start on June 19.

The DUP has helped block the legalization of same-sex marriage and the lifting of a ban on abortion in Northern Ireland.

There had been speculation that Mr Hammond in particular would be vulnerable if the Prime Minister had been returned - as she had hoped - with an increased majority.

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.