British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says the Democratic Unionist Party has agreed principles to support her Conservative minority government. This week’s election left the Conservatives several seats short of a majority in Parliament, so they are seeking a deal with the Northern Ireland-based DUP, which won 10 seats. The deal sits uneasily with some Conservatives because of the DUP’s opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. The Protestant unionist party also had links with outlawed paramilitary groups during the years of Northern Ireland’s “Troubles.”
May’s office says that the DUP had agreed to in outline to a “confidence and supply” arrangement. That means the DUP will back the government on key votes, but it’s not a coalition government or a broader pact. Downing St. says the Cabinet will discuss the agreement Monday. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a new chief of staff following the resignation of her two top aides.
Gavin Barwell, a former housing minister, replaces joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. They quit Saturday after becoming a focus of blame for the Conservatives’ election disaster.
Barwell was one of the Conservative lawmakers who lost his seat in Thursday’s election, which saw the party lose its parliamentary majority.
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.
May said that “I want to reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for. “Gavin will have an important role to play in that.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s two chiefs of staff had resigned in the wake of the Conservative Party’s disastrous election result. The party said Saturday that Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill have quit. The pair formed part of May’s small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party’s lackluster campaign and unpopular election platform.—AP