May seeks to rally party lawmakers behind her leadership

"I don't detect any great appetite amongst my colleagues for presenting the public with a massive additional dose of uncertainty by getting involved in a self-indulgent Conservative Party internal election campaign", Mr Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, told BBC TV.

With opinion polls showing the Conservatives with a commanding lead over the opposition Labour Party, May had called an early election in hopes of increasing her majority in Parliament and strengthening her position in negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union.

One Conservative MP said the prime minister had showed a more human side, regained the support of her party, and, they said, "there was none of the Maybot" in her speech.

The disastrous election result also prompted calls - from within her own party - for her resignation, leading May to apologise to her own MPs on Monday evening.

Hundreds of Conservative MPs and peers crammed into a room in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon to spend ninety minutes listening to the prime minister.

Arlene Foster and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds entered Downing Street at around 12:40 p.m. (1140 GMT, 7:40 a.m. EDT).

The Conservatives are considering an arrangement in which the Northern Ireland party backs May on the budget and her confidence motions and the DUP stands to make huge gains from the deal.

"The prime minister talked about wanting to build a consensus, she recognised the different views in the party on Brexit and she also recognized the need to not just reflect the party but indeed the parliament and the country", one senior pro-EU Conservative lawmaker and former minister said after a meeting of the party's lawmakers in parliament.

Davis also said walking away without securing a deal with the remaining 27 European Union states remained a possibility.

But speaking during a visit to Paris to meet French president Emmanuel Macron, Mrs May told reporters: "We as Government remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement and the subsequent agreements and we continue to work with all the parties in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in ensuring that we can continue to put in place those measures necessary to fulfil those agreements".

She remains in place largely because jumping the gun and removing her at this stage would cause further political instability, prompting a general election which they would nearly certainly lose.

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France... is a classic move to shore up authority at home", said Colin Talbot, professor of government at the University of Manchester.

In a surprise move, Michael Gove was appointed environment and agriculture minister less than a year after the prime minister sacked him as justice minister.

May appeared contrite, sought to apologize for her failed election gamble and gave an explanation of what went wrong.

DUP leader Foster said there had been "positive engagement" so far.

"When the facts change, I'll change my mind", said Keith Skeoch, chief executive of Scottish insurer and asset manager Standard Life, borrowing a quote from economist John Maynard Keynes.

"We are going into these talks with the national interest at heart".

The first test of any deal is expected to come at the Queen's Speech - a formal occasion at which the government asks Parliament to approve its legislative agenda.

The deal also prompted Irish premier Enda Kenny to warn that such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace.

London's neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

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