May to finalise her cabinet and do DUP deal after general election upset

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street to go to Buckingham Palace on Friday.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
    May to confirm the rest of her cabinet after Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, and David Davis keep jobs. May under pressure to sack her joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Tories and DUP to agree written “programme for government.”

Theresa May is ready to finalise her top team of ministers as she clung to power on Friday after failing to win a majority in the general election.

Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, and Amber Rudd will remain as foreign secretary, chancellor, and home secretary respectively. David Davis will also stay on as Brexit secretary and Sir Michael Fallon will keep his role as defence secretary.

As the prime minister looks to confirm other roles, such as health secretary, she is also under pressure to sack her most senior advisers: Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Cabinet ministers and a “string of Conservative MPs” told The Guardian that the joint chiefs of staff are “monsters who propped her up and sunk our party.”

Timothy was the architect of the disastrous social care plan in May’s manifesto, according to reports. She was forced to backtrack on the vision, which included the so-called dementia tax, just days after it was published.

Australian strategist Sir Lynton Crosby was also under fire for overseeing May’s election campaign. He set the tone of her bid to win a larger majority, including what became known as “Mayism” – a relentless focus on the prime minister rather than the Conservative Party.

Deal with the DUP

May is also focused on securing a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The Tories needed 326 seats to win but fell short by eight. The DUP won 10. May will need the Northern Irish MPs’ votes to force policy through parliament.

The Telegraph reported that the Tories and DUP will agree a written “programme for government” over the coming days. The document will set out the policies they both agree on. It will form the basis of a series of new laws to be announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 June.

Speaking about the partnership on Friday, May said: “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 story is developing.