Theresa May angered Buckingham Palace by misleading Queen over DUP deal - report

Posted On: 
1st October 2017

Buckingham Palace was left furious with Theresa May after she “misled” the Queen by prematurely saying she had reached a deal with the DUP after the election, it has been reported.

Theresa May with the Queen in July
Credit: 
PA Images

Senior royal aides were angered by the Prime Minister’s lack of “courtesy" when she said a deal to prop up the Tory minority government had been tied up within hours of the party losing its Commons majority.

However, the agreement was not finally nailed down 17 days later after lengthy negotiations between the parties.

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In a new book, “Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem”, it is claimed the move led to strained relations between the Prime Minister and the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.

“The palace was irritated,” one Conservative adviser said. “They felt that the deal with the DUP hadn’t been done."

A royal source added: “It is certainly true the palace was being given a greater sense of certainty about the deal than was accurate, because the truth is that the DUP buggered Mrs May about longer than she thought.

“They were getting more frustrated with it because they were running into Ascot and the state opening of parliament. Because the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are so old, it’s quite difficult to have them sitting about.”

MAY ‘BROKE DOWN’

The fresh account of June’s post-election turmoil also reveals how Mrs May repeatedly “broke down” in tears and that she had to have her make-up redone before visiting the Queen because she had been crying.

The book, serialised in the Sunday Times also reveals doubts by aides that she could continue in post, with one saying: “She looked tired and I don’t think she was thinking straight.”

“She was absolutely beaten, grey-skinned. I’ve seen people with shell shock and she looked worse than that.”

Subsequent pressures, which included widespread criticism over her handling of the Grenfell disaster in its immediate aftermath, even led to one senior advisor mooting the idea of bringing in a member of the SAS to speak to her about “resilience”.

The aide said: “I can get you former special forces commanders ... people who have been in crunching encounters. They will realise it is in the national interest to keep her on track and keep her going.”

The author also reveals No 10 further irked the palace when on the steps of Downing Street, Mrs May broke protocol, saying: “I’ve formed a government”, rather than “The Queen has asked me to form a government”, according to one Tory peer.