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May's Conservatives, DUP prop up new government amid cash boost pledge

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (2L) with Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster (2R). Photograph: (AFP)

WION Web Team London, United Kingdom Jun 26, 2017, 11.34 AM (IST)

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives have signed a deal with Norther Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to form a government, days after she lost the majority in a general election.

Theresa May issued a full statement about the government formation: "A confidence and supply agreement has been made between the Conservative & Unionist party and the Democratic Unionist party.

This means the DUP will support the Conservative government on votes on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security."

May's Tories had won 317 seats in the 650-seat parliament, falling nine seats short of majority.

The coalition with DUP -- they won 10 seats -- means May remain the prime minister of the country.

Northern Ireland promised cash injection

The main feature of the coalition is that the government will give Northern Ireland an £1 billion over the next two years.

The extra budget boost will be spent on hospitals, schools and roads in the region, Guardian quoted DUP as saying. 

DUP chief Arlene Foster highlighted a range of other agreements the two parties struck.

The two parties have agreed to keep defence spending at 2 per cent of the GDP, retain the triple lock for pensions and winter fuel payments for all pensioners.

"We’re delighted that we have reached this agreement, which I think works, obviously, for national stability," Foster said.

But there is a hint of consternation among the public since the DUP has in the past opposed gay marriage and abortion.

Ireland's former premier Enda Kenny has warned that a deal with the Protestant and pro-British DUP could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace, AFP reported.

Welsh Prime Minister Carwyn Jones has slammed the coalition deal as "outrageous and unacceptable".

"Today’s deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and a faltering government in office," a tersely-worded statement from his office said.

London's neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

 

 

 

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