United Kingdom: Theresa May says she will form government with allies in Democratic Unionist Party
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who won his seat in Islington North, said it was time to make way for a government that truly represented the people.
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said she will form a government with the support of the Democratic Unionists to provide “certainty” for the future. May made the statement outside Downing Street after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham palace. She said the Conservatives were the only party with the “legitimacy” to form the government after results indicated a hung parliament.
“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years,” May said. The Prime Minister said her administration would “guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks” that commence in 10 days.
Earlier on Friday, May has indicated that she will not bow down to demands from her political rivals to resign over failing to achieve a clear majority. She has promised voters a “period of stability”, BBC reported.
The United Kingdom faces a hung Parliament, with the Conservatives in the lead at 318 seats and the Labour Party with 261. The Scottish National Party has got 35 seats and the Liberal Democrats 12. Officials have declared 649 of 650 seats confirming that the Conservatives can no longer reach the 326-mark to win a majority.
Labour Party leader and Theresa May’s main competitor, Jeremy Corbyn, has also said he is “ready to serve”. Corbyn won his seat in Islington North. He called on the incumbent prime minister to resign as the elections pointed towards a hung Parliament.
Meanwhile, the UK Independence Party’s Paul Nuttall announced his decision to step down as leader after the outfit’s defeat. Nuttall said it “has been a honour” to head the party.
“The prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate,” he said. “Well 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, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country.”
The Labour Party took seats from the Conservatives at Battersea, Canterbury, Keighley, Enfield Southgate and Brighton Kemptown among others. The Conservatives won seats in Uxbridge, Copeland, Chesham, Ribble Valley, Norwich North and Cleethorpeks among others.
A BBC exit poll had predicted 322 seats to the Conservatives against the Labour Party’s 261. Other opinion polls had earlier suggested that the Conservatives would take a lead and retain control of Parliament. However, a day before the election day, the Labour Party managed to narrow the gap.
A total of 46.9 million people from across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were registered to vote this year. The final results are expected by Friday afternoon.
In the 2015 elections, the Conservatives won 331 seats, the Labour Party bagged 232, the Scottish National Party had 56 and Liberal Democrats won 8 seats.
Following the early election results, the pound fell sharply as the market had expected a clear victory for May. The sterling fell as low as $1.27, reported BBC. At 1.30 am, the pound even hit a new low of $1.2696. However, it started to recover a little as Conservatives made gains in Scotland, The Telegraph reported.
“It is fair to say the markets had been a little complacent about this result,” a senior analyst at ETX Capital, Neil Wilson, told BBC. “If the election results in a hung parliament, the pound could fall as low as $1.25 on Friday.”
On April 18, May had called for a snap election three years earlier than scheduled, saying it would help Britain make a smooth exit from the European Union. The last few weeks of campaigning have been marred with national security concerns with the country facing successive attacks claimed by militant groups.
On the night of June 3, a van drove into people near the London Bridge, killing eight people and injuring several. Two weeks before that 22 people had died in a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester. In March 2017, a man had mowed people down with his vehicle on the Westminster bridge while heading to the Parliament building. At least 40 others were injured in the incident.