Theresa May vows to stay on election blow

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

Confident of securing a sweeping victory, Mrs May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks, due to begin this month.

The prime minister called what she thought would be a Brexit-focused election, but the issue was quickly overshadowed by security as two deadly terror attacks, in Manchester and London, struck during the campaign period.

"As we're the party who won the most seats and most votes, we're the only party in a position to do that".

Just after noon, May was driven the short distance from her official Downing Street residence to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system.

Concerns over the potential impact on the upcoming Brexit negotiations and May's future as Prime Minister are now being raised, with one minister telling BBC's Laura Kuenssberg it was "hard to see how she could stay after these results".

If the Labour leader had won seven marginal Conservative seats and formed a so-called "progressive alliance" with all other smaller parties - barring the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - it would have been enough to command a working majority. She said Brexit talks would begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament.

Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have lost her gamble in calling a "snap" election to strengthen her grip on power, and while her Conservatives will likely remain the largest party, they are losing seats.

Trump, who was answering a shouted question from a reporter during an Oval Office photo opportunity, did not expand on his comment.

Even if the Conservatives had increased their majority materially, there was unlikely to be significant additional certainty about what Brexit meant.

"Trouble is, in eleven days' time, the Brexit negotiations are due to commence". This will ensure Britain's exit from the European Union in March 2019. Prior to the election, there was speculation that May would use the opportunity to reshuffle the cabinet; last night it was unclear if May would survive the election results.

The Scottish National Party, or SNP, also suffered major election losses. "If she has an ounce of self-respect, she will resign", said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, while Conservative M.P. and former minister Anna Soubry said May "is in a very hard place... she now has to obviously consider her position".

Her government has already triggered Article 50 of the EU Lisbon treaty which could see Britain formally leave the EU by March 30, 2019.

"We need a government that can act", Oettinger told radio station Deutschlandfunk.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, have said they will not work with either main party.

In contrast, Conservative voters were more likely to know from the outset which way they were voting, Lord Ashcroft said.

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