Friday, 9 June 2017

Theresa May's Political Future In Danger After British Election - Vows To Stay On Despite Hammering Insisting The Country Needs A 'Period Of Stability'

Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Tory activists in CCHQ after saying the party would try to cling on in government this morning despite losing its overall majority. She is pictured leaving the offices with husband Philip
Theresa May will ask the Queen's permission to form a government today despite the Tories suffering devastating losses when her election gamble backfired.
The Prime Minister will go to see the monarch at 12.30pm to make clear she intends to stay in power to push through Brexit - even though she has lost her Commons majority.
The defiant move comes as Mrs May faces open calls from her own MPs to 'consider her position', while a jubilant Jeremy Corbyn has demanded she make way for him to become PM.

Mrs May said it was 'incumbent' on her party to stay on in government if it received the most seats in the election
Earlier, an ashen-faced and shaking Mrs May - who called the election three years early in a bid to capitalise on sky-high poll ratings - claimed the Conservatives have the right to stay in power because they are still the largest party with an expected 319 seats.
She insisted the country needed a 'period of stability', adding: 'It is incumbent on us to ensure that we have that.'

But as the knives came out for Mrs May, former chancellor George Osborne lambasted her campaign performance as 'wooden' and her manifesto as a disaster, making clear he did not believe she could survive for long. Former minister Anna Soubry, who was reelected in Broxtowe, added her voice to calls for Mrs May to consider resigning. Asked exactly where the Tory campaign had gone wrong, Ms Soubry said bluntly: 'Where do you want me to start?' Another Tory MP, Nigel Evans, said the party had 'shot ourselves in the head'.
Even the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose 10 MPs Mrs May is set to rely on to keep her in Downing Street, said it would be 'difficult' for her to cling on.
With English and Welsh voters seemingly punishing Mrs May for calling the ballot unnecessarily, the only thing saving Mrs May from utter disaster overnight was the Tory performance in Scotland. The party's leader north of the border, Ruth Davidson, inspired a 12-seat surge that ousted the SNP's former First Minister Alex Salmond in Gordon and Westminster leader Angus Robertson in Moray.

After another political rollercoaster ride overnight, the Conservatives are on track to wind up with 319 MPs, Labour 261, the SNP 35 and the Lib Dems 14. For an absolutely majority a party needs 326 seats out of the 650 in the Commons - although taking into account the impartial Speaker and the fact that Sinn Fein does not take up its seats, 320 is enough.
Mrs May has struck a broad deal with the DUP, which is broadly in line with the Tories on most issues, that pushes her over the threshold.
A No10 spokesman said: 'The PM will visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm today to seek permission from the Queen to form a government.'  
In yet another rollercoaster ride of political drama overnight:

London was a horrorshow for the Conservatives, with Education Secretary Justine Greening only just hanging on in Putney and Treasury minister Jane Ellison losing in Battersea after a 10 per cent swing to Labour. But Zac Goldsmith squeaked back in Richmond Park by just 45 votes.
In total eight minister have been ousted, including Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer from Ipswich, Gavin Barwell from Croydon Central, Nicola Blackwood from Oxford West, Rob Wilson from Reading East, Simon Kirby from Brighton Kemptown, Edward Timpson in Crewe & Nantwich, and James Wharton from Stockton South. 

The SNP endured a dreadful night with their numbers at Westminster forecast to plummet from 54 to 34. The party's former First Minister Alex Salmond lost Gordon, and Westminster leader Angus Robertson was defeated in Moray.
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would have 'absolutely no choice' but to return to active politics if the result meant Brexit was under threat. 'We may well be looking down the barrel of a second referendum,' he said. 

The Liberal Democrats are set to get 12 seats, up from nine, despite widespread expectations that they would be put to the sword after a dire campaign. Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg lost Sheffield Hallam to Labour - but former business secretary Vince Cable fared better as he made a comeback in Twickenham and Ed Davey is returning in Kingston and Surbiton.
The pound tumbled dramatically against the US dollar and the euro as markets had priced in a solid Tory victory. 
Mr Corbyn today repeated his demand for Mrs May's resignation, adding he and party were 'ready to serve'. He insisted: 'That's what we fought the election for.'
He said: 'We are offering to put forward the programme on which we fought the electon. We are there as the Labour Party… everyone can see the huge increase in our support.'

The Tories getting a handful more MPs than was initially forecast could be crucial to their prospects of staying in power.

With 650 MPs in Parliament, 326 seats are needed for an absolute majority.

But in practice, a working majority requires just 320 MPs, as the Speaker does not vote and Sinn Fein has so far declined to take up its seats.

Whereas the exit poll showed she could only have 314 MPs, Mrs May is on track to end up with 318, or possibly 319 - within touching distance of the magic figure. 

The support of 10 DUP MPs should allow them to pass a Queen's Speech and Budget, although the Ulster party will demand significant concessions.

Ironically, the Brexit-supporting party was determined to maintain the pensions triple lock and keep universal winter fuel payments - contradicting some of the most controversial parts of the Tory manifesto. 

The first big test will be the Queen's Speech on June 19.

Only if Mrs May falls short will Labour get to try forming a government. 

Mr Corbyn said Parliament should meet on schedule and MPs would then have a vote – but refused to concede Mrs May had the right to present her Queen's Speech as the leading party and the incumbent, as constitutional convention demands.
The Labour leader could force a vote on his own plans by tabling an amendment to Mrs May's Queen's Speech. 

In a victory speech after winning Islington North for the ninth time, Mr Corbyn said: 'This election was called by the Prime Minister to gain a large majority in order to assert her authority.
'The election campaign has gone on for the last six weeks, I have travelled the whole country and you know what: politics has changed.

'Politics is not going back into the box where it was before. What has happened is people have said they have had quite enough of austerity politics, they have had quite enough of the underfunding of the health service, underfunding our schools and education service.'
He added: 'I am very proud of the results coming in around the country tonight, of people voting for hope, hope for the future and turning their backs on austerity.
'If there is a message from tonight's result it is this: the Prime Minister called the election, she wanted a mandate.

'The mandate she has got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.
'I would have thought that was enough to go and make way for a government that will be truly representative of the people of this country.'
But speaking at her own count in Maidenhead, a clearly shaken Mrs May said: 'As we look ahead and wait to see what the final results will be, I know - as I say - the country needs a period of stability and whatever the results are the Conservative Party will ensure we fulfil our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together.' 
Tory sources indicated she would continue in Number 10.
'Certainly that's what's expected,' a source said. 
Despite Tory hopes they would be the biggest winners from a massive Ukip collapse, the exit poll at 10pm last night indicated Labour had hoovered up a big chunk of the vote. It said the Conservatives were on track to lose 16 seats, leaving them on 314 and well short of a majority - while Labour was up from 232 to 266.
However, things quickly looked even more grim for Mrs May, with Education Secretary Justine Greening barely clinging on in Putney and Treasury minister Jane Ellison losing Battersea amid a London meltdown.

Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer was defeated in Ipswich, and there has also been a miserable showing in Wales, while Home Secretary Amber Rudd barely survived by 300 votes after a recount in her Hastings seat. Canterbury - which has been Tory for a century - also went to Mr Corbyn's party.
With almost all declarations in, the Tories are on track to end up with 319 seats to Labour's 267 - just about enough for a workable majority, but many are expecting the final tally to be lower.
There are fears that a hung parliament could throw Britain into chaos barely a week before negotiations with the EU are due to get under way. 
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he was ready to return to politics, warning that he feared a second referendum on Brexit.

The exit poll was greeted with disbelief on social media, with Gary Lineker branding it the 'biggest own goal' in history. Piers Morgan said the PM was 'toast'.
Initially there were doubts about whether the forecast - which interviewed 30,450 people as they left 144 polling stations across the UK - would turn out to be accurate.
YouGov's Peter Kellner told BBC News he still believed the Tories could end up with a majority of '30 or 40'.

Prof Curtice - who organised the poll - conceded there was margin for error and it was possible Mrs May would end up with a majority of 30.
But in the final analysis the Conservatives did indeed fall significantly short of the 326 needed for majority.

Mr Osborne said the numbers were 'catastrophic' and cast doubt on Mrs May's future.
The Evening Standard editor, who was brutally sacked from the Cabinet by Mrs May when she took office last July, lambasted the PM for her 'terrible manifesto' and 'wooden campaign'. 
But he added that Mr Corbyn might have been the Conservatives' saving grace as another Labour leader could have won.

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