Friday Jun 09, 2017
LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May faced pressure to resign on Friday after losing her parliamentary majority, plunging the country into uncertainty as Brexit talks loom.
May called the snap election in April in an attempt to extend her majority and strengthen her position, but her gamble backfired spectacularly after she failed to win enough seats to form a Conservative government.
Sterling sank against the dollar and the euro as investors questioned who was now going to control the Brexit process.
EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said May had "lost her bet", while the timetable for Brexit talks, due to begin in 10 days time, has been thrown into disarray, raising suggestions that it could be extended.
She also faced pressure to quit from inside and outside her party after a troubled campaign overshadowed by two terror attacks, although British media quoted party sources saying she had "no intention" of doing so.
JEREMY CORBYN CALLS FOR PM MAY TO QUIT
British Prime Minister Theresa May should step down after losses for her Conservative Party in the general election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday.
May "has lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that´s enough to go," Corbyn said after being re-elected in his Islington North constituency in central London.
CONSERVATIVES WILL ENSURE 'STABILITY', PM MAY SAYS
Prime Minister Theresa May said her Conservatives would ensure much-needed "stability" for Britain as the party reeled from a string of losses from Thursday´s general election.
"The country needs a period of stability and whatever the results are, the Conservative party will ensure that we can fulfil that duty to ensure that stability," May said after being re-elected to her seat in Maidenhead near London.
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SAY "VERY DIFFICULT TO JOIN COALITION
Britain's Liberal Democrat party would find it very difficult to join a coalition again after suffering severe damage from its deal with the Conservatives after the 2010 election, former leader Menzies Campbell said on Thursday.
"(Party leader) Tim Farron made it very clear. He said no pact, no deal, no coalition. We´ve had our fingers burnt by coalition, I don´t need to tell you that. I find it very, very difficult to see how Tim Farron would be able to go back on what he previously said," Campbell told the BBC.
Reactions to the outcome on Friday have focused on whether May can stay in office after losing her bet for a stronger majority, and on the ramifications for Brexit:
May "is in a very difficult place... she now has to obviously consider her position" -- MP and former minister Anna Soubry, a member of May´s Conservative party.
May´s authority has "received a blow from which it is unlikely to recover." -- former Conservative MP Paul Goodman, editor of the influential website ConservativeHome.
"It will be difficult to govern and it could mean another election later in the year." -- Wyn Grant, professor of politics at the University of Warwick.
"Hard Brexit went in the rubbish bin tonight." -- former Conservative finance minister George Osborne
"Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy." -- Paul Nuttall, head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party.
"If we do get a Corbyn coalition, Brexit is in trouble." -- former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
"I hope we never hold referendums on anything ever again." -- pro-EU former Conservative finance minister Ken Clarke.