UK political turmoil continues

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
UK political turmoil continues

The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) says talks with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to support a new government are going well.

Arlene Foster says she hopes to conclude the talks soon.

“Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion,” Foster said on Twitter after more than an hour of talks.

What has Theresa May said?

She made no comment as she left 10 Downing Street en route for the House of Commons.

She is hoping to strike a deal with the DUP to pass her legislative programme after failing to secure an outright majority after last week’s election.

May told the first post-election session of the lower house that she had discussed the DUP talks with her cabinet.

A spokesperson for May’s office said it is hoped the talks will lead to a confidence and supply arrangement – a loose level of support that stops short of a formal coalition.

Delays and deals

The ongoing political turmoil has delayed next Monday’s state opening of parliament.

There is also a question mark over the opening of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with Brussels – which are due to get underway the same day.