British Prime Minister Theresa May reappointed most of her ministers on Sunday (June 11) but brought a Brexit campaigner and party rival into government to try to unite her Conservatives after a disastrous election sapped her authority days before Brexit talks begin. First by Brexit and now through this election.
The outcome of last week’s vote has also thrown into doubt what Britain would seek from Brexit talks with the European Union, complex negotiations which will have profound implications for the world’s fifth largest economy.
Labour under Gordon Brown courted the Ulster party after failing to win a majority of seats in the general election, with the then Northern Ireland Secretary Shawn Woodward having worked on an “economic package” to secure DUP support.
May faced her lawmakers at a meeting of the 1922 Committee (the Conservative Private Members’ Committee) on Monday.
The Prime Minister said she had a busy schedule ahead, with a cabinet meeting on Monday and talks with French President Emmanuel Macron the following day.
“I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out”, May told Conservatives MPs during a crunch meeting in Westminster.
Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary, said: “I think it is fairly clear that Theresa May can not lead us into another election, obviously we don’t know when that is going to happen”. Ms May will have to appear contrite, accept she made serious mistakes and promise to be a different leader in future, working more closely with her Cabinet and backbenchers.
“The reason for leaving the single market is because we want to take back control of our borders, they’re not compatible“, he told BBC Radio.
One Tory MP who left the meeting midway through said there was no mood among colleagues for another leadership contest and that Mrs May spoke very well, adding “none of the Maybot“.
After a lacklustre campaign from the Conservative party, and a surge in support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, neither party achieved a majority and the country now waits in a state of anticipation and uncertainty.
May plans a clean break from the EU, involving withdrawal from Europe’s single market and customs union and limits on immigration from the EU.
“But what I’m doing now is actually getting on with the immediate job”. Writing in the mass-circulation Sun newspaper, Johnson stressed that the Conservatives won more votes than at any time since Margaret Thatcher and are still the largest party in Parliament. “That may mean that some elements of the manifesto will be pruned away, shall we say”.
During the election campaign Mr Gove – who one year ago torpedoed Boris Johnson’s leadership hopes and opposed Mrs May’s bid – rated his chances of playing for Bradford City higher than making a cabinet return under Mrs May.
“We’ve been through this in the past in the 1970s and it can be incredibly hard”, said Lord Karan Bilimoria, the crossbench member of the House of Lords, who has been an outspoken critic of the Prime Minister and believes the Conservative Party conference later this year was a likely moment for the party to review its leadership.
May announced the Conservatives and the DUP had worked out a working arrangement that would be enough to buoy her government, by giving May a narrow working majority of just two with her own 318 MPs plus the 10 DUP politicians.
May says there will be no second general election.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mr Brady said the overriding mood within the Conservative Party was one of realism and recognising they had not got the result they wanted.