United Kingdom polls: Theresa May's two closest advisers quit after election debacle

12 June, 2017, 08:47 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Whoever wins today, the fight for Brexit goes on

A fresh election is the only alternative available to British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives other than agreeing a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to remain in government, a senior Conservative lawmaker said on Sunday.

Timothy said he had resigned on Friday after the result was confirmed, and took responsibility for the Conservative manifesto, including a botched plan for elderly social care that caused a major backlash.

The election, which took place on Thursday (June 8), resulted in a hung parliament with the Conservatives failing to win a majority.

May's party won 318 seats, 12 fewer than it had before the snap election, and eight short of the 326 needed for an outright majority.

The surprising outcome, which sent the pound tumbling, forced May to form a minority government, leaving her reliant on a small group of Northern Irish parliamentarians, just nine days before Britain is due to begin negotiating a deal to leave the EU. She's now attempting to form a government.

The British PM's bet that she could strengthen her hand by crushing "a weak opposition Labour Party" backfired spectacularly on Thursday.

May's Downing St. office said Conservative Chief Whip Gavin Williamson was in Belfast Saturday for talks with the DUP "on how best they can provide support to the government".

She said Labour had to be ready for another election "at any time" and warned the party not to "rest on its laurels", saying it had to work on how to win back more seats from the Conservatives.

"I think her position is, in the long term, untenable", another Conservative lawmaker, Anna Soubry, tells Sky News.

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Mr Leslie said Labour missed an "open goal" as he had "never known" a more beatable prime minister than Theresa May.

May called the election called in a bid to strengthen her mandate ahead of European Union exit talks. But the election result meant it was unclear whether her plan to take Britain out of the bloc's single market and customs union could still be pursued.

"The Conservatives have not yet broken the British system of democracy, but through their hubris and incompetence they have managed to make a mockery of it", it said in an editorial.

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said it may now be possible to discuss closer ties between Britain and the EU than May had initially planned, given her election flop.

Asked directly if she thought Labour had lost, she said: 'No, I don't think we did.

But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is gay, was among the first to express disquiet over a deal with the DUP, which is opposed to abortion and gay rights.

Former Treasury chief George Osborne - who was sacked by May a year ago - called May a "dead woman walking", and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was ready to contest another election at any time.

"We don't really think she has a mandate to now, she's really made a fool of herself and really, quite frankly, she should step aside and let us have a go". "May stares into the abyss", wrote The Times, while the Conservative-supporting Sun tabloid said succinctly: "She's had her chips".

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