May To Form ‘government Of Certainty’ With Dup Backing

Theresa May has said she will put together a government with the support of the Democratic Unionists that can provide “certainty” for the future.

Speaking after visiting Buckingham Palace, she said only her party had the “legitimacy” to govern, despite falling eight seats short of a majority.

Later, she said she “obviously wanted a different result” and was “sorry” for colleagues who lost their seats.

But Labour said they were the “real winners”.

The Lib Dems said Mrs May should be “ashamed” of carrying on.

The Tories needed 326 seats to win another majority but, with 649 out of the 650 seats declared, they fell short and must rely on the DUP to continue to rule.

In an ongoing cabinet reshuffle, the BBC has learned that five cabinet ministers are certain to stay: Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon; Brexit Secretary David Davis; Home Secretary Amber Rudd; Chancellor Philip Hammond and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Mr Hammond said, in a tweet, that he was “pleased to be reappointed so we can now get on and negotiate a Brexit deal that supports British jobs, business and prosperity”. Mr Johnson tweeted that he was “delighted”, adding “lots of great work to do for greatest country on earth”.

However, those rarely seen on the campaign trail, including Andrea Leadsom, Priti Patel and Liam Fox, could be out, says BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier.

Comebacks from Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and prominent leave campaigner Dominic Raab were being floated, she adds.

In a short statement outside Downing Street, which followed a 25-minute audience with The Queen, Mrs May said she would join with her DUP “friends” to “get to work” on Brexit.

She said she intended to form a government which could “provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country”.

Referring to the “strong relationship” she had with the DUP but giving little detail of how their arrangement might work, she said the government would “guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks” that begin in just 10 days’ time.

“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years,” she said.

“And this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.”