An arrangement of British daily newspapers are photographed as an illustration in London on June 9, 2017 showing front page stories about the exit poll results of the snap general election. (Photo by AFP)
’s newspapers lambasted Prime Minister Theresa May
on Friday after she lost her Conservative majority in the general election, weakening her authority.
She pledged to continue with her plans for the looming Brexit talks, but newspapers said her standing had been diminished.
The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, simply said “Mayhem” on its front page.
“She gambled… and she lost,” the Conservative-backing tabloid said.
“Britain is about to find out the price of that failure. Brussels will be licking its lips.
“At the start of the election campaign, she was seen as a safe pair of hands.
“It is almost inconceivable that seven weeks later, the Tory majority has been wiped out.”
“Britain on a knife edge,” headlined the pro-May Daily Mail, saying her gamble in calling a snap general election to boost her majority had “backfired disastrously”.
The London Evening Standard is edited by George Osborne, sacked by May as Britain’s finance minister when she took office in 2016.
“Queen of Denial”, said its front page after she returned to Downing Street to form a government without mentioning her losses.
“PM ignores disaster at polls as she pledges to provide ‘certainty’.”
Its cartoon inside showed May in the pocket of a hardcore Ulster unionist in traditional Orangeman.
“Her authority is non-existent,” the editorial said.
“We now have a minority Conservative government that is in office but not in power.”
“Shock for May”, said The Daily Telegraph, a conservative broadsheet.
“May’s big gamble fails,” said The Times.
“A failed campaign leaves Theresa May humbled and her party reeling,” its editorial said.
“It is hard to see her authority going unchallenged by cabinet colleagues for long.”
The Financial Times business daily said May “seeks to cling to power with N. Ireland party”, referring to the Democratic Unionists, on whose support she will now rely.
The pro-Labour Daily Mirror said May’s authority was “hanging by a thread” following “the most sensational political disaster for generations”.
In the outgoing parliament, May had a slim working majority of 17 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons.
With one result to come Friday, the Conservatives had 318 seats, Labour 261, the Scottish National Party 35 and the Liberal Democrats 14. The Democratic Unionists won 10 seats.
At the start of the election campaign, opinion polls predicted May would possibly romp home with as high as a triple-digit majority.
Final results of the UK
general election indicate that the Conservative Party of British Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to secure majority in Parliament, a failure that fuels political uncertainty just days before the start of Brexit talks.
According to the election results on Friday, with 649 out of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives won 318 seats, short of the 326 they needed for an outright majority and well down from the 330 seats they had before May’s leadership. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party managed to clinch 261 seats.
The voters put the Scottish National Party (SNP) on 35 as the third-biggest group in the new House of Commons, the Liberal Democrats on 12, and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on 10. The pro-Brexit UK Independence Party (UKIP) failed to win a single seat.
As the two main rival parties failed to gain the 326 seats required for an absolute majority, speculations abounded that May would seek the support of Northern Ireland’s DUP.
Corbyn, who was among those calling on May to resign after the election results emerged, said that British people have had enough of austerity politics
and cuts in public spending, ruling out the potential for deals or pacts with other progressive parties in parliament. He also expressed readiness to serve the country in case May stepped down.
“The arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost, and we need to change,” the left-wing Labour leader said. “The mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that’s enough to go.”
In the run-up to the election, the British premier spent her campaign denouncing Corbyn as a weak leader that would crash Britain’s economy and flounder in Brexit talks, while praising herself on a “strong and stable leadership” to strike a good deal for Britain.
Britain’s opposition Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn waves as he leaves the Labour Party headquarters in central London on June 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
May, who had called for snap elections in the hope of increasing the Tory majority and strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations, met the Queen on Friday and announced that she would form a minority government with the DUP to proceed with Brexit despite her party’s failure in the Thursday election.
“I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen, and I will now form a government – a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country,” she said.
“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years, and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom
,” May added.
British politics is in a state of disarray as London is scheduled to start talks with Brussels over its divorce from the European Union on June 19.