Hung parliament: Theresa May to seek permission from Queen to form government

Conservatives strike deal with Northern Ireland party

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Indy Politics

Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm to seek permission from the Queen to form a government, a Downing Street spokesman said.

She has struck a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a small working majority in coalition. The DUP said the deal would work on a vote-by-vote basis called "confidence and supply" and they would not form a formal coalition.

It follows calls for Ms May to resign after a disastrous election for the Conservatives. They emerged eight seats short of a majority, with one seat left to declare.

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"We would consider a supply and confidence arrangement to make sure Theresa May would have sufficient support to keep her in government,” one DUP MP told Sky News.

Support for the DUP has grown, with the party increasing their number of seats from 8 to ten. The Tories and DUP combined would have 329 MPs in the Commons.

The party has series of demands from the Conservatives in exchange for its support. Among them is an assurance that Ireland is not granted special status after Brexit.

Nigel Dodds, who retained the North Belfast seat, reportedly said the DUP would insist there was no separate deal for Ireland that would in essence keep in inside the EU. The DUP backed Brexit in last year's referendum.

The DUP objects to special status for the region, one of Sinn Fein's key demands, fearing it could break-up Ireland from the rest of the UK. 

The DUP, the largest unionist political party in Northern Ireland, said their desire to form a coalition with Ms May is driven by concerns about Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.

Mr Corbyn, who has called on Ms May to resign, has well publicised links with Sinn Fein. The Labour leader has said he is "ready to serve" and the party is willing to form alliances with other smaller parties.

Yet even if Labour joined forces with the SNP, Lib Dems, Green Party and Plaid Cymru, it would only have 313 seats, short of the 326 figure it needs.