May confirms ‘deal’ with DUP following election result

Prime Minister Theresa May will seek a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party for the Conservatives to stay on in power.

The Conservatives failed to win a majority in yesterday’s general election, resulting in a hung parliament.

May sought to secure the Conservatives a stronger majority when she called the snap election in April, but will be forced to make a deal to reach the required number of seats, looking to the DUP as the minority partner.

In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, May said: “Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years.”

May said she would “continue to work with our friends and allies in the DUP in particular” to keep to the Brexit timetable.

She added that “certainty” and “confidence” were needed as Brexit talks progressed, and that a Government was needed that could ensure the country was “safe and secure”.

May said: “The government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do so that we will fulfill the promise of Brexit together over the next five years and that no one and no community will be left behind.”

At midday, the Conservatives had won 318 seats, which was eight short of reaching a majority of 326. The DUP won 10 seats in the election.

The DUP is commonly seen to be more left-leaning on public spending but more hardline on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion than the Conservatives.

DUP leader Arlene Foster wants to avoid a hard border with Ireland and has spoken against a “hard Brexit”.