May: I wanted different result, but now I’ll lead

9 Jun

Speaking inside Downing Street, she said she would reflect on what she now needed to do to take the party forward after seeing a working majority of 17 wiped out.

She also apologised to colleagues who had “contributed so much to our country” and “didn’t deserve to lose their seats”.

Shortly after her comments Downing Street confirmed that five high-profile Cabinet ministers would remain in place.


Theresa May returns to Downing Street after visiting the Queen to form a government

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Speaking outside Number 10 earlier in the day, Mrs May pledged to form a government that can “provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time”.

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Facing down calls to stand down by Labour, the Lib Dems and even some of her own MPs, a defiant Mrs May has decided to cling on to power by forming a minority Conservative government.

Following a meeting with the Queen to seal her continued premiership, she asserted only the Conservatives and the DUP have “the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons” having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election.

Theresa May, accompanied by her husband Philip, delivers a statement outside 10 Downing Street
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Theresa May ended her statement by saying: ‘Now let’s get to work’

She and her team are trying to produce a small working majority in coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party.

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She said the two parties had enjoyed “a strong relationship” over many years.

“This gives me the confidence to believe that we will work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom,” she said.

“This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone.

“That’s what people voted for last June. That’s what we will deliver… now let’s get to work.”


Prime Minister Theresa May looks on at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat

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DUP MPs are meeting to discuss the situation and one told Sky’s Senior Political Correspondent Beth Rigby earlier: “We would consider a supply and confidence arrangement to make sure Theresa May has sufficient support to keep her in government.”

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In return for shoring up the Tory majority the party has demanded considerable more resources for Northern Ireland, more influence and involvement in trade deals. A formal agreement is yet to be reached.

DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed she had spoken with the PM and that her party was in “discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge”.

“The DUP will always strive for the best deal for Northern Ireland and its people,” she said.

“But equally we want the best for all of the United Kingdom – and these are challenging times.

“Negotiations on our exit from the European Union are about to commence, and we now face uncertainty at Westminster.”


Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London after he called on the Prime Minister to resign

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The move has been slammed as a “coalition of chaos” by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who condemned Mrs May for putting her “party before her country”.

“She has been found out, she should be ashamed,” he said.

“If she has an ounce of self respect, she will resign.”

Britain has a hung parliament after the Conservatives lost their majority on an extraordinary night.

The Tories remain the biggest party with 318 seats so far and Labour currently has 261 – with 326 required for a majority and just one seat left to be called.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also called on Mrs May to stand down, declaring he is “ready to serve the country” after Mrs May’s snap General Election gamble spectacularly backfired.

Sky’s Political Editor, Faisal Islam, said: “This is the most extraordinary balancing act. It was tough enough when she had her own majority.


Tim Farron

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Farron: ‘Ashamed’ May should consider future

“She is now reliant on the DUP and absolute loyalty from the Conservative party – loyalty that was not given to her over the Budget.

“So a fascinating time – Theresa May staring down the camera lens and telling the country: ‘I am still in charge.'”

Sky’s Northern Ireland Correspondent, David Blevins, said: “The DUP have a very delicate balance to strike between how they use this power they suddenly find themselves with, and how they ensure that anything they demand does not derail efforts to restore devolution here.

“If they are going to squeeze out some concession from the Tories, is that concession going to frustrate Sinn Fein to the point where the prospect of devolution disappears and there is direct rule from Westminster again in Northern Ireland.

“With the potential of that direct rule being imposed of course by a Tory government shored up by the DUP.

“You really couldn’t make it up.”

The election result leaves Westminster in chaos with just 10 days before the Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

Mr Farron said Britain now had a government that was “weaker and less stable at a time when we are about to embark on the most difficult and most complex negotiations in our history”.

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