British Prime Minister Theresa May’s future was hanging in the balance Monday as she prepared for a showdown with angry MPs from her Conservative party following its disastrous performance in last week’s general election.
May’s Conservatives unexpectedly lost their majority in parliament in Thursday’s snap election, causing political chaos ahead of Brexit talks with the European Union, which are scheduled to start next week.
The prime minister is due to face MPs later Monday, where she could face demands to quit over her lacklustre campaign and decision to call the election in the first place.
May on Sunday unveiled her full cabinet, which will meet for the first time on Monday, making few changes as she vowed to cling on despite pressure to quit.
The visibly weakened premier denied she was feeling “shell-shocked” when quizzed in an interview with Sky News.
“What I’m feeling is that actually there is a job to be done and I think what the public want is to ensure that the government is getting on with that job,” May said.
May’s party fell eight seats short of retaining their parliamentary majority, and is currently in talks with Northern Ireland’s ultra-conservative Democratic Union Party (DUP) — which won 10 seats — to forge an informal alliance.
– ‘Take control of borders’ –
Brexit minister David Davis on Monday insisted that the government still aimed to take Britain out of the EU single market.
“The reason for leaving the single market is because we want to take back control of our borders, they’re not compatible,” he told BBC Radio.
He also said the government would still “walk away” with no deal if talks broke down on ending Britain’s four-decade membership of the bloc.
But Ruth Davidson, the pro-EU leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, called on May to “reopen” the government’s Brexit plans.
Davidson bucked the trend by helping the Tories win 13 seats in Scotland, but warned her MPs “will vote entirely as they believe they should” in parliament, raising doubts that the government could secure enough votes to pass a deal taking Britain out of the single market.
Criticised for relying on slogans during the election campaign, the prime minister’s Downing Street appearance saw her drop the “strong and stable” leadership mantra.
After the opposition Labour party made hefty election gains by focusing heavily on national issues, May listed areas such as education and housing as top priorities.