British Prime Minister Vows to Carry on Despite Election Losses

The Times
The Times first edition

The Times The Times first edition

Theresa May was set to meet with Queen Elizabeth Friday to form a new government.

With results declared for all of the 650 seats of British Parliament, the Conservatives won 318 while the opposition Labour secured 262, leaving neither party anywhere close to the 326 seats required for an overall majority.

"Whatever the results, the Conservative party will remain the party of stability".

Labour's Corbyn, revelling in a storming campaign trail performance after pundits had pronounced his Labour Party all but dead, said May should step down and that he wanted to form a minority government. In terms of the Brexit negotiations, it was the worst possible election result.

But Brexit talks - which are due to start in 10 day's time - could be delayed and the Prime Minister's personal authority undermined by the shock result. May called the snap vote in a bid to strengthen her mandate ahead of exit talks with the European Union. Several Conservative politicians also suggested she consider her position. "Our leader needs to take stock as well".

Labour could also attempt to form a new government if May is unable to.

Echoing Oettinger's skepticism about negotiating with what could essentially be a lame-duck government in London, Michel Barnier, the European Union official tasked with leading the Brexit negotiations, said Friday that the talks should only begin "when the ready".

"The last thing business leaders need is a parliament in paralysis, and the consequences for British businesses and for the United Kingdom as an investment destination would be severe", said Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors business lobby. "I said at the start this election was wrong".

But on Friday, May said she planned to stick to the timetable for starting the negotiations.

"We are ready to do everything we can to put our program into operation; there isn't a parliamentary majority for anybody at the present time, the party that has lost in this election is the Conservative Party, the arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost".

The UK art scene overwhelmingly opposed Brexit in the June 2017 referendum.

During the campaign, May vowed to build a "stronger, fairer and more prosperous Britain", while Corbyn's signature campaign slogan was to govern "for the many, not the few".

The poll was released after polls closed at 10 p.m. (2100GMT), ending an unsettled national election held in the shadow of three deadly attacks in as many months.

May was criticized for making a number of U-turns on social welfare and she came under fire for a controversial proposal on who should pay for the cost of care for the elderly, a policy that became known as the "dementia tax". Mostly, the European Union mood was one of frustration that the already tough Brexit talks were likely to become only more hard.

Today, Corbyn said that he had "changed the face of British politics" and that politics "isn't going back into the box where it was before".

"These are discussions that will be long and that will be complex. Let's get on with the job".

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