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Top two aides to British PM Theresa May quit

11 June 2017

Some in Theresa May's own party called for her to step down as leader after the results came in. May reportedly wished to strengthen her position ahead of the Brexit demand.

Instead, the election ended up wiping out the Conservative majority.

The foreign secretary called the report "tripe" in a tweet and said he was supporting May. But Johnson said he backed May.

She accused the PM's chiefs of staff Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy of treating ministers with a lack of respect.

Former Tory MP Gavin Barwell will replace the duo as Mrs May's new Downing Street chief of staff.

The change was unlikely to significantly quell unrest within the party.

Downing Street initially said on Saturday that an outline agreement on a "confidence and supply" arrangement had been reached with the DUP which would be put to the Cabinet for discussion on Monday.

That means it will support a Conservative minority government on key votes in parliament without a formal coalition deal.

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But former party leader Iain Duncan Smith said a leadership contest now would be a "catastrophe".

But the wooing of the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is now suspended.

May is now looking to rule the country with less than 50% of seats in Parliament's House of Commons, and is banking on support from the DUP to be the ally that helps her party push its agenda through Parliament. While May initially claimed how she was up for Brexit as she wanted to take Britain out of the European Union's single market and customs union and consequently cut immigration.

Her party is deeply divided over what it wants from Brexit.

British leader Theresa May sought to frame the campaign around her personal leadership heading into Brexit, but this was undermined by public performances derided as robotic.

With talks between the Tories and the DUP expected to begin within days, Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey expressed concern about the impact of any deal on the peace process.

Last December, Hill also told senior Conservative lawmaker Nicky Morgan to keep away from Downing Street after criticising the premier for her expensive leather pants.

"She's then got to present a programme to Parliament".

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"She's staying, for now", one Conservative Party source told Reuters.

The atmosphere in the Conservative Campaign HQ was said to have turned toxic.

The 10 DUP MPs would provide vital support to Mrs May after her majority was wiped out as the snap election gamble backfired, leaving her with 318 seats.

Newspaper headlines saw her as just clinging on.

But the Conservatives remain the largest party in Parliament, and Mr Corbyn's plan to vote down Mrs May looks mathematically doomed to fail.

Ministers have reportedly accused the two special advisers of acting like deputy Prime Ministers over their stranglehold on power in Whitehall.

Speaking on ITV, Mr Flanagan said he has raised the matter with Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, although it remains to be seen what deal is agreed between the Conservatives and the DUP. The Labor Party received 262 mandates, the Scottish National Party - 35 seats. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she saw no reason to grant the United Kingdom a grace period.

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Top two aides to British PM Theresa May quit