Further humiliation for Theresa May
It says something fairly grim about the Conservatives that, in their talks with the openly misogynist, sectarian and homophobic DUP, the DUP are the ones with major concerns.
Just hours ahead of the Queen’s Speech and after nearly two weeks of talks and preparation, the Tories are still scrambling to reach a deal with the Northern Irish party. This is the first time in 28 years that a government will go into the Queen’s Speech not knowing if it has the votes to get it through parliament.
DUP sources said yesterday that talks ‘haven’t proceeded in the way we would have expected’ and that the government should stop taking their party for granted and show some respect.
The fact that the Tories — the party of government with 317 seats — can’t find agreement with the DUP — a party of 10 MPs who generally support them anyway — is extremely telling. It yet again showcases the chaos in Downing Street and Conservative HQ, Theresa May’s deep incompetence, and the party’s inability to govern.
Indeed, it seems likely that the Conservative relationship with the DUP, having started in a fairly good place, has gotten worse in these weeks of direct talks.
While it’s deeply unlikely that the DUP will vote against the Queen’s Speech — their antipathy to Jeremy Corbyn is too great for that — the government will struggle to ensure their support for its legislation, meaning that we could be looking at an fallow legislative period.
This is another extraordinary failure on the part of the prime minister, heaped on top of the extraordinary failure of the general election itself. Today’s Queen’s Speech will confirm that far from being a strong and stable government, the Tories are now too weak and wobbly to get anything done.
Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.