More than half a million people have signed a petition opposing Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to form a government with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) support.
The change.org petition has secured 500,000 signatures in just 24 hours. Set up by a user named Winston Churchill, it calls on 10 Downing Street to ditch plans to partner with the DUP.
The petition said May’s ambition is a “disgusting, desperate attempt to stay in power.” Talks between her party and the DUP progressed on Saturday after Tory Chief Whip Gavin Williamson was sent to Belfast to negotiate a deal.
The petition lists some of the DUP’s most controversial policies. The party, for example, does not believe in gay marriage, is anti-abortion, and is sceptical about climate change.
There are also fears it could further destabilise the political landscape in Northern Ireland following the collapse of the power-sharing agreement earlier this year. The UK and Irish governments are currently trying to mediate between the DUP and Irish nationalists to restore the Northern Irish government.
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.
ITV political editor Robert Peston said ministers would prefer a coalition deal, rather than a less formal vote-based one, under which the DUP would agree to support May on key policy issues.
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