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Bill English congratulates Theresa May

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/06/2017

Prime Minister Bill English has telephoned British Prime Minister Theresa May to congratulate her on her re-election.

"I spoke to Theresa May last night and congratulated her on forming a government," Mr English said on Sunday.

Mr English himself faces a general election on September 23.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mrs May as Britain embarks on the next chapter of its storied history."

Mrs May secured a deal to prop up her minority government on Saturday.

A botched election gamble had damaged her and plunged Britain into political crisis days before the start of talks on leaving the European Union, Reuters reports.

May's Conservatives struck an outline deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for support on key legislation, a humiliating outcome for them after an election intended to make them a dominant force.

Mrs May had called the vote three years early in the hope that a sweeping win would strengthen her hand in the challenging Brexit talks, which are due to start in nine days' time.

That calculation backfired spectacularly on Thursday as voters stripped the Conservatives of their parliamentary majority.

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