UK leader May strikes tentative deal with N Ireland party

General election turnout Jeremy Corbyn

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has denied plotting to topple Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been weakened by the Conservative Party's disastrous election result.

But pressure is growing on May to step aside herself, or to sack her two key advisers, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, to whom many in the party attribute the car-crash campaign performance.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Downing Street with her husband Philip after traveling to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen's permission to form a minority government, in London, June 9, 2017. Some say her failure means the government must now take a more flexible approach to the divorce, potentially softening the exit terms.

British media have reported that moves were afoot within May's party to dislodge her after her election gamble - aimed at increasing her party's majority in parliament ahead of Brexit talks - backfired.

Several ministers lost their seats in Thursday's election, which saw the Conservatives lose their majority in Parliament.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) agreed in principle to a "confidence and supply" deal with the Conservative Party, a Downing Street statement said Saturday. Instead, Cameron still would be prime minister, presiding over a majority government (however narrow) of a United Kingdom that was still part of Europe.

Corbyn, a 68-year-old leftist, has not only survived attempts by some members of his own party to oust him but has also now led Labour to unexpected electoral gains against the Conservatives - something that could change or at least temper the direction of talks May says she will lead to leave the European Union.

"What the country needs more than ever is certainty", the Conservative leader said, as a political crisis brewed around her.

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The stunning outcome leaves May battling to unite different factions of her party and reliant on a handful of Northern Irish parliamentarians just nine days before Britain starts the tortuous process of negotiating its departure from the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she assumed Britain still wanted to leave the European Union and talks should start quickly.

The arrangement with the DUP will make governing easier, but it makes some Conservatives uneasy.

The DUP does not work or negotiate on Sundays for religious reasons, but officials from both sides are due to meet on Monday, and DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet May on Tuesday. The DUP is a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and had links to Protestant paramilitary groups during Ireland's sectarian "Troubles". "We've got a new dawn for social democracy. and I will carry on fighting". "We will be making a formal complaint", she wrote.

However the Government's adherence to that position will clearly be brought into question if its control of Parliament is dependent on a deal with the DUP, endangering ongoing talks to try reach a power-sharing deal in the region.

"May fights to remain PM", said the front page of the Daily Telegraph, while the Times of London said: "May stares into the abyss".

Corbyn said his party would put down a "substantial amendment to the Queen's speech" based on the main policies in its general election manifesto, with an emphasis on Brexit, young people, and austerity.

Former Conservative party leaders have warned that any immediate leadership challenge would be too disruptive, but most commentators believe Mrs May can not survive in the long term.

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