Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly “begged” her predecessor David Cameron to back her deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) after she squandered the slim Tory majority he won in 2015.
According to the Times, May called Cameron the day before the £1 billion (US$1.3 billion) agreement was struck with the Northern Irish party. Facing the prospect of a backbench rebellion and a leadership challenge, May needs all the support she can get to make her minority government appear tenable.
The relationship between the two Conservative Party leaders has been frosty since May embraced ‘hard Brexit’ and sacked many of Cameron’s allies in the Cabinet when she took power.
Cameron resigned in June 2016 after gambling his political career on the outcome of the EU referendum. May, his home secretary, went on to win the brief but bloody leadership contest that followed.
However, May’s result in the June 8 General Election cost her the stable working majority she inherited from her former boss. Her desperation is becoming apparent to many in her own party.
“There is simply bafflement,” a source close to Cameron told the Times.
“Of course David was polite and grown up and delighted to help. But doesn’t Theresa realize what this looks like? She trashed him in the campaign, has barely spoken to him since becoming prime minister and now has to go cap in hand for his support. It’s shameless.”
Task facing PM, given the circs, is to deliver the most stable govt possible – today’s DUP deal helps achieve that. All Cons should support.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) 26 June 2017
It is believed that a tweet posted by the former PM in support of the Tory-DUP deal came shortly after their controversial call.
“Task facing PM, given the circs, is to deliver the most stable govt possible – today’s DUP deal helps achieve that. All Cons should support,” Cameron tweeted around noon on June 26. By 2pm the deal was officially signed by the two parties.