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Northern Irish party backs May-led UK government; Finance minister stays on


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Northern Irish party backs May-led UK government; Finance minister stays on

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said June 9 that her party will team up with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, to form a government, as she kept key members of her cabinet in their jobs.

In the June 8 U.K. elections, the Conservatives won 318 seats and lost 12 seats in the 650-seat parliament, with one constituency left to report, falling short of an overall majority.

After visiting Queen Elizabeth II, May announced that she will lead a government that would be backed by the DUP, which won 10 seats.

May said the two parties have "enjoyed a strong relationship over many years." She also said that the new government will provide "certainty" as the U.K. begins Brexit talks in 10 days.

"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," the prime minister said.

The DUP reportedly said that they would support May and that a formal agreement on a coalition was not needed.

May called snap elections in April to shore up her negotiating position ahead of talks on the country's EU departure.

Meanwhile, May kept Finance Minister Philip Hammond, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Interior Minister Amber Rudd, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon and Brexit Minister David Davis in their posts. Media reports before the election had suggested that May would replace Hammond if she secured a large majority, Reuters reported.