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DUP head arrives for talks with United Kingdom leader May

13 June 2017

The prime minister's gamble in calling last Thursday's snap election, in a bid to consolidate her Conservative party's power, failed catastrophically, resulting in the party losing its parliamentary majority, while its main rival, Labour, performed strongly.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", May told Conservatives MPs during the meeting in Westminster.

The fractured voting - which saw strong gains by the largest opposition party, Labour, and modest gains by a smaller party, the centrist Liberal Democrats - was a further indication of stark political divisions in Britain, days before formal negotiations over withdrawal from the European Union are scheduled to begin in Brussels.

She said: "We had very good discussions yesterday with the Conservative Party in relation to how we could support them in forming a national government - one that would bring stability to the nation - and those discussions continue".

May and her Cabinet meet for the first time following the election.

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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. The Conservatives won 318 out of 650 seats.

Furthermore, those in marginal constituencies are anxious that they would lose them, and join with those in other seats in not wanting an election that might put Jeremy Corbyn over the finishing line and into Parliament.

Theresa May and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster will hold critical talks on a deal to prop up a Tory minority administration after the Government admitted the Queen's Speech could be delayed.

Instead, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said, the DUP will provide support "on the big things" like economic, security and Brexit-related legislation.

"I don't detect any great appetite amongst my colleagues for presenting the public with a massive additional dose of uncertainty by getting involved in a self-indulgent Conservative Party internal election campaign", Graham Brady, the 1922 committee chairman, told BBC TV.

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"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of a classic move to shore up authority at home", said Colin Talbot, professor of government at the University of Manchester.

Britain's Brexit minister, David Davis, has backed May, saying claims made by former finance minister George Osborne that she is a "dead woman walking" are wrong and self-indulgent.

Mr Davis also indicated "we will start down this process" by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the European Union before moving on to trade. Traditionally written on vellum, the Queen's Speech is now written on parchment paper in ink, which takes several days to dry, before it is bound into a booklet and signed by the queen - meaning its contents need to be finalized days before the speech is delivered. She also signaled she's willing to rethink her approach to Brexit.

Mrs May will later travel to Paris to meet French President, Emanuel Macron, to discuss online radicalisation.

The Daily Telegraph understands that more than a dozen Tory MPs have significant concerns about the prospect of the deal and have warned it could lead to the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement, the political milestone in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s.

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During the campaign, Ms May cast herself as the only leader competent enough to navigate the tortuous Brexit negotiations that will shape the future of the United Kingdom and its $2.5 trillion economy.

DUP head arrives for talks with United Kingdom leader May