Sunak rules out DUP coalition if he fails to win majority at election
Rishi Sunak has categorically ruled out entering a coalition with the DUP if he fails to win a majority at the next general election.
The Prime Minister insisted he is confident he will remain in No 10 after the UK goes to the polls, despite the Tories’ poor performance in the local elections.
Labour and the Lib Dems both benefited from voters turning away from the Conservative Party, which lost nearly 1,000 councillors.
But questions have been raised about possible coalitions as Labour’s vote share in the elections did not definitively show the party’s leader Sir Keir Starmer on his way to winning a Westminster majority.
The Labour leader ruled out entering a pact with the SNP but left the door open to the Liberal Democrats.
Labour threw back questions to the Tories after officials initially refused to rule out entering any pacts, with the Opposition demanding Mr Sunak rules out a “grubby, desperate deal” for power.
But speaking to reporters travelling with him in Japan, the Prime Minister said: “I am not interested in any chat about coalitions and all the rest of it. I will spend my time focusing on delivering for the British people.”
Theresa May entered into a deal with the DUP in 2017 to remain in power after she lost her majority in the election.
Pressed on whether he was ruling out a coalition with the DUP, Mr Sunak insisted: “I am.
“We are interested in delivering a Conservative majority at the next election.”
The Tories lost 957 councillors and control of 48 authorities under Mr Sunak’s leadership.
Labour gained 643 seats in the May 4 local elections, the Lib Dems 415 and the Greens 200.
Asked if he is confident he will remain Prime Minister after the next general election, Mr Sunak replied: “Yes. I’m working really hard to deliver for the British people. That is my priority.
“That is what I’m spending most of my time thinking about. Not thinking actually about my job… I spend most of my time thinking about everyone else, and their jobs.”