Britain's May seeks deal with N.Ireland party to cling to power


Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein will maintain its policy of not taking seats in Britain's parliament, the nationalist party's president said on Thursday, a position that will cut the number of seats needed to win a parliamentary majority.

Labour MP Jo Stevens said the prospect of Mrs May's party doing a deal with the DUP was "chilling", after Tory former cabinet minister Owen Paterson said his party may have to enter "a debate I suppose on further reduction of abortion times as medical science advances".

Theresa May is to ask the Queen for permission to form a government in the wake of the disastrous snap election which has robbed Conservatives of their overall majority in the House of Commons.

Timothy said the party hadn't noticed the surge in Labour support "because modern campaigning techniques require ever-narrower targeting of specific voters, and we were not talking to the people who made a decision to vote for Labour".

Former minister Anna Soubry said Mrs May should "consider her position" after a "dreadful campaign" while backbencher Heidi Allen suggested she could be out within a matter of months, depending on the Brexit negotiations.

The DUP has historically been linked to Protestant churches within Northern Ireland and is generally regarded as the more Ulster loyalist of the two major unionist parties.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose party won 10 seats, had said Friday that she was ready to talk to the Conservatives on "how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation".

May put on a courageous face after Thursday's vote, expressing sorrow for the MPs who lost their seats but refusing to acknowledge how her election gamble backfired. She called the early election with her party comfortably ahead in the polls in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain's hand in exit talks with the European Union. At this point, the idea of a deal between the DUP and Conservatives was met with scepticism from the likes of Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg, with much of the cynicism directed at DUP's controversial values.

The DUP seized the last SDLP stronghold in South Belfast, wrested back South Antrim from the UUP and saw off the challenge of the Alliance Party and Sinn Fein in East and North Belfast respectively.

Gay marriage is banned in Northern Ireland, as is abortion except for when the life of the mother is in danger. By winning 12 additional seats in Scotland, Ruth Davidson played a significant part in helping Theresa May to stay in Downing Street.

"I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality".

She said: "We'll wait to hear what the results actually are, but we are very pleased with the way in which people have reacted to the positive message of the campaign - it was about the Union, the importance of the Union, and unionists have really come out in their numbers".

"That is why I think at this critical time for our country it is important to form a government in the national interest", she said.

A deal between the DUP and the Conservatives would risk destabilising the delicate political balance in Northern Ireland and could significantly complicate talks due to start next week to restore the province's power-sharing agreement.