Anti-DUP protesters gather in London to pressure Conservative leader Theresa May

The Conservatives lost an absolute majority they had enjoyed prior to the snap election on June 8, which May had called to strengthen her hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiations slated for June 19.

"It was a disaster", he said. (The party's manifesto is "the Bible with fortnightly bin collections", its detractors joke.) But it also has a strong streak of pragmatism, which means it is unlikely to emphasise such aspects at what it views as a moment of great opportunity.

Among Tory MPs there was fury at the way a 20-point opinion poll lead at the start of the campaign had been thrown away in an election which she did not need to call for another three years.

The chaotic situation won't have long to settle: Formal Brexit negotiations with European Union leaders kick off on June 19. "May sought a mandate". "May's departure from Downing remorseless".

She said she "obviously wanted a different result" and felt "sorry" for colleagues who lost their seats.

In her final rally of the campaign, in Birmingham on Wednesday, she said it again and claimed once more that only she could offer the "strong and stable leadership to get the best deal in Europe". The DUP's MPs have already formed alliances with Tory backbenchers, who have been campaigning against moves to prosecute former soldiers involved in incidents in the Troubles, stretching back to the early 1970s.

While climate change scepticism is not official party policy, the DUP did once appoint a denier as Northern Ireland environment minister, and it counts a number of creationists among its senior members.

The DUP was founded in the 1970s by the late firebrand preacher Ian Paisley, and in the 1980s was a key player in the "Save Ulster from Sodomy" campaign, which unsuccessfully fought against the legalization of gay sex.

A "confidence and supply" arrangement is a far looser deal than a formal coalition or pact.

'The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government's approach and objectives in the forthcoming talks to re-establish the Northern Ireland Executive remained unchanged.

She is trying to cling on to power in no 10 by striking a deal with the DUP that would just nudge her into having a working majority in Parliament.

On the same website Ms Hill said: "I have no doubt at all that Theresa May will continue to serve and work hard as Prime Minister and do it brilliantly".

The DUP has a consistently anti-abortion stance, with its leader Arlene Foster saying: "I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England".

A visibly relaxed Corbyn, asked whether he would be in his own job over the long term, joked that "I've got youth on my side". "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage".

The gap between the Conservatives and the Labour Party led by veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn began to narrow after May announced a policy on elderly care that proved unpopular.

"At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability", May said in her electoral district of Maidenhead, west of London, her voice at times shaking.

Whether or not May manages to stay on, her party's best option looks like governing with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party. The Times newspaper ran a front-page story on May's tenuous future as Conservative leader Saturday with the headline "May stares into the abyss".

The election result is another reminder of just how disillusioned voters are with the political establishment in Europe and the US following Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the implosion of France's main parties in the presidential election.

I want to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who put their trust in the Democratic Unionist Party.



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