Britain's snap election backfires on Prime Minister Theresa May

Lance Nichols
June 19, 2017

Britain's typically pro-Conservative press savaged May and questioned whether she could remain in power only two months after officially triggering the country's divorce from the European bloc.

Leftist opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour party surged from 20 points behind in the opinion polls, has told May to quit after she "lost votes, lost support and lost confidence".

"As I reflect on the result, I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward", May said before adding "I obviously wanted a different result". As of Friday afternoon, with one constituency yet to declare, the Conservatives remain the largest party with 318 seats, having lost 12 seats, and Labour with 261 seats.

But the prime minister insisted that she could carry on.

After noon, May was driven 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.

May said Brexit talks would begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was facing reports of deep disquiet in her Conservative party Saturday following an election that severely dented her parliamentary clout.

But with her authority diminished, May risks facing more opposition to her Brexit plans from both inside and outside her Conservative Party, and some colleagues may be lining up to replace her.

Several lawmakers demanded the resignation of May's top advisers, who have been widely blamed for a disastrous policy to make the elderly pay more for their care and a campaign seen as too insulated from ordinary voters and too focused on attacking her opponent.

And Mrs. May is very likely to face leadership challenges within her own party.

Stressing that her party had won the maximum votes and emerged as the single largest party, she claimed that only the Tories can provide the "certainty" needed to guide the country through crucial Brexit talks that begins with the European Union on June 19. The Vermont senator - who narrowly failed to win his bid for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race for the White House - said he had watched the United Kingdom results coming in on Thursday and was very pleased about the party's showing.

"Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations", Donald Tusk, leader of the EU's ruling council, wrote in a tweet. Traders tried to balance their aversion to political uncertainty with the view that a weaker government in London might end up agreeing to a softer, more economically advantageous, Brexit. Corbyn pointed out that the police force was cut by nearly 20,000 during May's tenure - which was not a message to make the general public feel more secure in the aftermath of terrorist incidents. There were also shock results in Scotland. "The public said no thanks, we don't want a second referendum on Europe, we don't want to stay in Europe, we want you to do a good deal". "Now let's get to work", she said. Up until April, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seemed ineffectual and his party was split by infighting.

"I think her position is, in the long term, untenable", Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry told Sky News. May called the snap vote in a bid to strengthen her mandate ahead of exit talks with the European Union. "We are ready to do everything we can to put our program into operation", he said.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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