UK prime minister's top aides resign after election fiasco
12 June, 2017, 14:34 | Author: Lorraine Moran
The aides who resigned, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, May's fiercely loyal co-chiefs of staff, had been widely blamed within the prime minister's Conservative Party for the lacklustre campaign that ended with the Tories losing their majority in Parliament.
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.
"The reason for the disappointing result was not the absence of support for Theresa May and the Conservatives but an unexpected surge in support for Labour", Timothy wrote.
After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May was expected to appoint a team that will take on one of the most demanding negotiations in British history.
Theresa May was being used as a defensive shield by her party yesterday as Tory MPs sought to delay a leadership contest while believing that she could be gone within months.
"The success of the Labour Party winning more seats than expected was because they tapped into anxiety over public spending cuts since 2010, anxiety over the state of National Health Service, and also concerns with youth voters over the amount of student debt and access to United Kingdom housing - two big issues".
May will also need the support of the socially conservative, pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which won 10 seats in Northern Ireland. The Conservatives "have lost their majority and the prime minister has lost all authority and credibility", said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Centrist Labour rebels fell in to line behind Jeremy Corbyn yesterday after he led the party to its highest share of the vote in a general election in 20 years.
Instead of betting on the size of the majority, party insiders were now putting money on when the prime minister would quit, less than a year after she was propelled into Downing Street following Britain's shock decision to exit the EU. "That's not a matter for me", she said.
The arrangement with the DUP will make governing easier, but it makes some Conservatives uneasy.
In a statement yesterday morning the Labour leader urged Ms May to resign so he could form a minority government.
The DUP opposes gay marriage and Northern Ireland remains the only part of the United Kingdom where women can not access abortion unless their life is endangered by the pregnancy. "We've got a new dawn for social democracy. and I will carry on fighting". The group's leader Arlene Foster was elected past year on a promise to work to prevent abortion rights from being extended to Northern Ireland. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage".
Newspaper headlines saw her as just clinging on.
A deal between the government and the DUP could also unsettle the precarious balance between Northern Ireland's British loyalist and Irish nationalist parties.
"I don't think throwing us into a leadership battle at this moment in time, when we are about to launch into these hard negotiations, would be in the best interests of the country", Evans said.
Cabinet ministers and a string of Conservative MPs are demanding that Theresa May sack one or both of her closest advisers if she wants their support for her minority government, propped up by the Democratic Unionist party.
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