Prime Minister Theresa May’s fragile hold as head of her party weakened Saturday. Two of her top aides resigned after complaints from leadership in her own Conservative Party, and the strong deal she needed with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which would give her Conservative Party a narrow majority, was instead a “confidence and supply” arrangement. This means May must negotiate with them for key votes, although she needs the unerring support of the DUP’s 10 Parliamentary members. The Guardian reported that Tory leadership refused a stronger pact because of the DUP’s stance on gay rights, abortion, and climate change. And while few have criticized May publicly, there are rumors Tories were plotting against her.
Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, May’s co-chiefs of staff, resigned amid reports that Conservatives said they had to leave or else they’d challenger her leadership. May brought both trusted aides from her former post at the Home Office, and they were some of her closest advisors. Timothy was partly blamed for the Conservative Party’s poor election showing earlier this week, which ended with them losing a majority in Parliament, because he he shaped much of the party’s platform voters found so unsatisfying. Both Hill and Timothy were accused by other Conservative members of being hard to work with, secretive and pushy, In an op-ed in The Times of London, May’s former director of communications, Katie Perrier, wrote Saturday that Hill and Timothy shared “rude, abusive, childish behavior.”