Theresa May to form new government with support of 'friends and allies' in the DUP
Theresa May has said she will form an administration to govern Britain for the next five years, despite disastrous results in a snap election which left her short of the MPs she needs to command an overall majority in the House of Commons.
In a statement in Downing Street, the Prime Minister made clear that she would rely on the support of the DUP in order to get her programme through Parliament.
She said despite losing a dozen MPs in the June 8 poll, she intended to press ahead with her plans to take the UK out of the European Union and forge a new trade deal with its former partners.
The arrangement between the DUP and Conservatives will not extend beyond a confidence and supply deal, a senior DUP member has said.
East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson said his party was in a "fantastic position to deliver for Northern Ireland".
Prior to the 2015 election, with the pollsters predicting a hung parliament, the DUP ruled out a potential formal coalition with the Conservatives, instead indicating its support would be offered in a confidence and supply arrangement from the opposition benches.
Mr Robinson said: "We have essentially got the result we were campaigning for two years ago.
"It didn't materialise then but we campaigned on the basis of a hung parliament two years ago.
"I think that puts us in a fantastic position to deliver for Northern Ireland."
The pro-Brexit DUP, which returned 10 MPs to Westminster, has found itself kingmaker in the hung Parliament.
But, after intensive talks with the DUP as the final election results came in, the PM instead drove the short distance to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for permission to form a new government.
She is expected to announce ministerial appointments later on Friday.
Statement in full:
"I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a government.
"A government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.
"This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.
"It 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.
"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.
"The government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do so that we will fulfil the promise of Brexit together and over the next five years build a country in which no one and no community is left behind, a country in which prosperity and opportunity are shared across this United Kingdom.
"What the country needs more than ever is certainty and having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number 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.
"As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist party in particular.
"Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.
"This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity.
"That's what people voted for last June, that's what we will deliver. Now let's get to work."