Britain's May seeks deal to cling to power

People demonstrate in Parliament Square against the possible Conservative and DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) coalition government following the Britain's general election result, in London, Saturday June 10, 2017.

But Johnson reacted to media speculation on Twitter by dismissing any rebellion: "I am backing Theresa May".

If Corbyn had claimed seven more seats, the total seats won by Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and one independent MP would have come to 322 - enough to dethrone the Conservatives of their power. A deal with the DUP and their 10 lawmakers would give her a workable majority.

Britain's best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of her party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they were anxious that a leadership contest now could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into power.

Graham Brady, the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee and one of the party's key power-brokers, insisted that there was no appetite among MPs for an immediate leadership challenge which could see them plunged into another general election. Their influence had increasingly angered senior ministers. May's office has said that the most senior Cabinet members - including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - will keep their jobs, but she is expected to shuffle the lower ranks of ministers.

However, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith has called on Theresa May to step aside to allow Labour a chance to form a minority government. At the start of the campaign, she was enjoying poll leads of 20 points or more over the main opposition Labour Party.

But the wooing of the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is now suspended.

The 60-year-old leader confirmed most of her ministers in her top team, or cabinet, an apparent reversal of earlier plans to turf out those who were considered as less than loyal, a day after accepting the resignations of her two closest aides.

The crisis also increases the chance that Britain will fall out of the European Union in 2019 without a deal. She's taking us back to those times.

But her party is deeply divided over what they want from Brexit and the result means British businesses still have no idea what trading rules they can expect in the coming years.

Davidson, one of the few Conservatives to emerge as a victor from the election after she increased the party's presence in Scotland, said she had demanded, and received, "categoric assurance" from May that the policy would not change.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she assumed Britain still wanted to leave the European Union and talks should start quickly. "But we are nine days off from the Brexit talks starting", he told BBC Radio.

"She's then got to present a programme to Parliament".

Mrs May is looking to secure the DUP's support.

Leaving the customs union would be "economic suicide" for the United Kingdom, he said. He said a new election might be necessary later this year or early in 2018. "It is far from guaranteed to vote the deal through".

  • Jon Douglas