British Prime Minister Theresa May will likely keep her job despite her party losing its majority in a snap election that’s left the United Kingdom in political turmoil.
May’s Conservative Party failed to reach the 326-seat majority to hold the House of Commons, but early Friday reached a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a coalition.
“What this country needs more than ever is certainty and having secured the most amount of votes and the greatest amount of seats in the General Election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons,” May said outside No. 10 Downing Street Friday.
The move isn’t uncommon in UK politics: Conservatives took the same approach with another political wing to wrest control of Parliament in 2010.
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But this time around, Britain is entering the contentious negotiations to leave the European Union — known as Brexit — and grappling with a wave of terror attacks throughout the country.
“This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks which will begin in just 10 days and to deliver on the will of the British people by taking the UK out of the EU,” May said.
May, who met with Queen Elizabeth earlier Friday to form a new government, insisted she’d stay in her job despite calls for to resign after taking the job 11 months ago.
The Prime Minister called for the surprise election in April in a bid to strengthen her majority as Brexit talks began.
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But the results coming in Thursday night indicated a surprise showing by the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn.
DUP members — who mostly hail from Northern Ireland and won 10 seats — were shook by the idea of Corbyn becoming Prime Minister, sources told The Guardian.
“We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The alternative is intolerable. For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, we will ensure there’s a Tory PM,” a DUP source told the newspaper, using the official name for the Conservative Party.
Party leaders were particularly upset with Corbyn and other Labour leaders’ past support of Sinn Fein — a party with past ties to the IRA.
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Thursday’s surprise results set off political chaos in the nation, whose citizens voted last June to leave the EU after a heated campaign.
Along with the lengthy Brexit process, the UK has also dealt with multiple terror attacks in the last few months — most recently Saturday’s attack at London Bridge that killed eight people.
Corbyn and other Labour leaders, during the waning days of the campaign, questioned May’s ability to handle the attacks.
May vowed to continue cracking down on terror cells that led to the London attack, as well as the May 22 Manchester bombing that killed 22 people.
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The government “will work to keep our nation safe and secure, by delivering the change that I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London,” she said. “Cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it, and giving the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe.”
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