Senior Cabinet minister offer support to UK prime minister

Posted June 14, 2017

It was a surprise move - Gove was sacked as justice minister by May past year after his bid to become party leader forced now-foreign minister Boris Johnson from the race, amid accusations of treachery and political backstabbing.

Theresa May and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster will hold critical talks on a deal to prop up a Tory minority administration after the Government admitted the Queen's Speech could be delayed.

"But the key thing is not to get hung up on the membership of the single market, but to be assured of the benefits that it can bring for our economy and for our jobs".

Davis, who said that some policies in the government's programme would now be pruned back, was one of a number of senior Conservatives to publicly pledge loyalty to May.

How has the election panned out for the four main parties?

Weakened by an election that was meant to strengthen her, May is now working to regain some of her lost standing.

Former party leader Iain Duncan Smith also warned against re-opening the party's plans, pointing out that Labour's manifesto also committed to ending free movement - meaning more than 80 per cent of the electorate had backed a clean break.

While some members of her party have said she will have to go eventually, Ms May is expected to stay on as Prime Minister at least for now. He said a new election might be necessary later this year or early in 2018.

But there were signs that not all was going to plan.

But one MP present at the meeting said there was no discussion of a leadership contest, adding "she's won, she's got to be prime minister".

"I am backing Theresa May".

Major said his list of concerns included how a post-Brexit Britain would resolve the issue of the Northern Ireland border with Ireland, the UK's only land border with the European Union.

May and her administration is scheduled to start Brexit talks with European Union leaders in just seven days. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, reported that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers to come up with a "softer", less hard-line divorce from the EU. "Theresa May is a dead woman walking".

Mrs May's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit.

The move might offer hope to Conservative lawmakers who have criticised her style of government.

Over the weekend, May's top two aides stepped aside. "We have to recognise that the election changed if not everything, then a very great deal, and the government are going to have to respond to that".

"To those locally who are complaining the loudest about our position of influence, I say to them that the time for unreasonable behavior and unrealistic demands is over", she said. The DUP said instead that talks centered on a so-called confidence-and-supply arrangement, a weaker and potentially more unstable partnership than a formal coalition.

"It's in the week of next week, basically, is the first discussions", Davis told Sky News when asked about the practicalities of the negotiations.

Former Prime Minister John Major said he was concerned a deal with the DUP could thrust the province back towards violence almost two decades since a US-brokered peace deal brought peace to Northern Ireland.

Same-sex marriage campaigners in Northern Ireland have urged thousands of people to take to the streets in protest against the DUP.

The PM told the backbench 1922 Committee on Monday that a deal with the DUP would not affect power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland or LGBT rights.

Meanwhile, the chief European Union negotiator has told the Financial Times that the clock is ticking on Brexit talks, and that Britain should be wary of further delays.

"If people can think of elements that are better and negotiable, I am listening", he said.