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May set to form govt amid opposition to DUP deal

MAY SET TO FORM GOVT AMID OPPOSITION TO DUP DEAL

An online petition calling on the leader of Britain's Conservatives to resign attracted more than 650,000 signatures as of Sunday morning, with the main opposition leader vowing action to oust her as prime minister, upping pressure on a deal between the Conservatives and the Northern Irish unionists.

"Theresa May should resign. This [deal] is a disgusting, desperate attempt to stay in power," says the petition at change.org.

The petition, posted shortly after a "confidence" deal announcement yesterday between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist party, says, "Theresa May said there will NOT be a coalition of chaos," before citing a list of DUP stances outside the British mainstream: anti-LGBT, creationism in the schools, anti-abortion, and a return to the death penalty.

Amid the push for May to resign, DUP leader Arlene Foster said she is set to meet with the prime minister in London on Tuesday.

Foster told Sky News her party had "very good" discussions with Chief Whip Gavin Williamson, who May sent to Belfast to negotiate a deal to keep the Conservatives in power.

She added that she will continue discussions to "bring stability to the nation" with May on Tuesday.

'LACKS CREDIBILITY'

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn, the main opposition Labour Party leader who managed to win 30 more seats for the party, said, "I can still be prime minister."

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Corbyn signaled that with the backing of Tory backbenchers, his party will try and amend the Queen's Speech-a ceremonial event at the opening of the new government where the queen reads out a text on future government policies-and believes that they have enough opposition in numbers following last week's election.

"We will -- obviously -- amend the Queen's Speech. There's a possibility of voting it down it and we're going to push that all the way," he told the daily.

"We have got a mandate to deal with issues of poverty, justice and inequality in Britain. We want to end austerity and invest in this country and that's what we're going to do," he said.

He added, "I don't think Theresa May and this government have any credibility.

"The Tories may be in government for now, but their model and lack of ambition is unsustainable. I'm ready for another general election. This is just the first step.

"I truly believe we can unite this nation and bring the kind of change the nation needs and demands. I feel energized by this result because I know we can build on it."

'CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY' DEAL

Northern Ireland's DUP agreed in principle to a "confidence and supply" deal with the Conservative Party, a Downing Street statement said yesterday, but a final deal has yet to be reached, according to later statements from both Downing Street and the unionist party.

"Confidence and supply" means the DUP would vote with the Tories on a case-by-case basis, but not have any Cabinet members, as in a coalition government.

A snap survey on Saturday by the ConservativeHome website found 60 percent of party members say May should step down.

Two of May's chief advisers resigned Saturday over the poorly managed campaign, which led to the ruling party's losing majority in parliament by eight seats. The DUP's 10 seats would give the Tories a narrow parliamentary majority and make it possible to form a minority government.

According to final results of the June 8 snap election, the House of Commons' 650 seats were won as follows: Conservative Party 318, Labour Party 262, Scottish National Party 35, Liberal Democrats 12, DUP 10, and others 13.

May is expected to form the new government next week, only days before the country's historic Brexit negotiations with the EU start on June 19.

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