London, Sunday @PeopleDailyKe
A former Conservative rival condemned British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday as a “dead woman walking” as she raced to secure the support she needs to stay in power following a disastrous election.
May’s office was forced to backtrack late Saturday after announcing that an outline deal had been agreed with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government, admitting that talks were still ongoing.
“What we do have now is an understanding of the outline proposals that would underpin that working agreement,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, a member of May’s Conservative party said.
But the confusion reinforced a sense of chaos at the heart of government just days before Britain starts the complex and fraught negotiations on leaving the European Union.
May (pictured) has struggled to reassert her authority after losing her parliamentary majority in Thursday’s snap election, which she had been under no pressure to call. The Sunday newspapers carried reports that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was set to launch a bid to oust her, although he dismissed them as “tripe”.
Former party leaders have warned any immediate leadership challenge would be too disruptive, but most commentators believe May cannot survive in the long-term.
Former Conservative Finance minister George Osborne, who May sacked after taking office after the Brexit vote last June, said she was now a “dead woman walking”.
With the new government set to present its legislative programme to Parliament on June 19, the clock is ticking on efforts to bolster the Conservatives’ position after they won just 318 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.
DUP leader Arlene Foster is to meet with May in London on Tuesday to discuss their arrangement, Sky News reported.
Fallon said it would not be a formal coalition, instead the DUP’s 10 MPs would support the government “on the big things” such as the budget, defence issues and Brexit.
He stressed he did not share their ultra-conservative views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality, which have caused disquiet among many Conservatives.
More than 600,000 people have signed a petition condemning the alliance, saying it is a “disgusting, desperate attempt to stay in power”. -AFP