Theresa May reshuffles cabinet amid widespread criticism

Hauwa Abu, UK

U.K Prime Minister Theresa May

British PM, Theresa May has reshuffled her cabinet following a loss at the June 8 polls.

May said the cabinet was drawn from talents across the Conservatives party.

After meeting with the Queen on Friday, May announced she was going to form a government with the help of a coalition with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists Party.

Talks on the coalition are still ongoing, as reports indicate it is going to be a “confidence and supply” arrangement.

The Conservatives failed to secure a majority in the election and there have been calls for May to step down following the loss.

Criticisms

There are criticisms as to how a partnership with the DUP would pan out especially as both parties have differing views on social issues.

The DUP which was formed on Presbyterian ideals is against abortion, gay marriage and supports capital punishment.

Also, critics have expressed fears that a coalition with the DUP puts the Northern Ireland peace deal at risk.

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny questioned the ability of British government to be an impartial broker if it forms a coalition with one of Northern Ireland’s parties.

The Northern Ireland peace process is the series of events that led to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the ‘Troubles’ and the Good Friday Agreement and events that led to the separation of the North and South of Ireland.

Britain and Ireland act as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the treaty that ended the decades-long crisis in the province.

Part of the agreement reads “The British government would uphold the right of the people of Northern Ireland to decide between the Union with Great Britain or a united Ireland and that it had no “selfish strategic or economic” interest in Northern Ireland.

Other critics including former Northern Ireland secretary, Lord Murphy warned that Northern Ireland peace process is likely to be “sacrificed to save Theresa May’s skin”.

“And that’s a terrible business, because we’ve gone through 20 years now of bringing peace and stability and prosperity to Northern Ireland.

“All that, in my view, is now being jeopardised by this deal,” he said on a BBC Radio Wales program.

A former Labour Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Hain, also expressed worry over a Conservative-DUP coalition.

“You’ve got to be neutral. If the government, if the prime minister is dependent on the DUP then all sorts of back-room deals will be done which could impact on the Good Friday process – could put it in jeopardy and could destroy confidence amongst other parties,” he told the BBC.

Brexit

Meanwhile, Theresa May has reiterated that Brexit negotiations would commence as scheduled adding that it was in the nation’s best interest to kick off talks soonest.

She said she promised to deliver a good Brexit deal before the election and would stand by her pledge.

However, reports say Labour Party would challenge May’s government by putting up their own programme of legislation for a vote of approval in Parliament.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told ITV that the party would put up a substantial amendment to the Queen’s Speech (The Queen’s Speech is put forward by the Government at the start of a term in parliament and sets out their main proposed policies and legislation).

The amendment “will outline what we fought the election on and parliament will have a choice,” he said.

Labour won 262 seats in the general election, up from 232 in the 2015 polls.

 

Nnenna.O