The real reason Theresa May didn’t sign DUP deal?

The Conservatives signed a historic deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday – but Theresa May’s signature was notably absent from it.

Despite securing her in power for the foreseeable future, the Prime Minister merely watched in the background while the Government chief whip Gavin Williamson signed the document along with his DUP counterpart, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

Amid confusion as to why it wasn’t Mrs May who signed the confidence and supply agreement – which was needed after the Tories failed to secure a majority in June’s snap election – there is thought to be a very good reason why the Prime Minister’s signature is missing.

Theresa May was not part of the actual signing of the DUP deal (PA)
It is thought that keeping Mrs May’s signature of the document means she can be replaced without the Government collapsing (Rex)

With Mrs May now regarded as a weak leader of her party, many believe it is only a matter of time before she either resigns or is forced out by her own party.

And by keeping her name off the deal, Tories would be able to replace her without a deal signed by her collapsing – resulting in a likely second general election.

MORE: May strikes £1 billion deal with DUP to prop up government
MORE: DUP will support UK government on budget and Brexit – May

A Tory source told The Telegraph that Mrs May’s name being kept off the document would mean that “it would not require having to have a new confidence and supply document stitched up by May’s successor”.

A Government spokesman added to the paper: “This is an agreement between both Conservative and DUP UK Parliamentary party.

“Both parties have signed up to this agreement and have committed to abide by it.”

Top pic: PA