May to form minority 'government of certainty'

19 June, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street en route to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen the day after the general election

People living in Britain are waking up to uncertainty as Prime Minister Theresa May ignored calls to stand down after the ruling Conservative Party lost an overall majority in parliament in a general election on Thursday. The voting was held Thursday.

The Labour leader, who has insisted the Conservatives lost the election despite being the largest party, was photographed by Times columnist Giles Coren at the football practice in sunny north London as the Prime Minister grappled with the fallout of losing her majority.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said "we have made good progress but the discussions continue".

There was no trace of humility and no recognition that she is clinging to power by a thread after her disastrous gamble on an early election left the Conservatives eight seats short of a parliamentary majority.

Because it wasn't just opponents that called for Mrs May to resign - some within her own party, like Anna Soubry, were also very vocal in their criticism. The issue didn't resonate on the campaign trail, and it didn't resonate at the ballot box either: The party got a slightly smaller percentage of the vote than last time. This would mean Britain's immediate and total withdrawal from the single market. The country also elected its first female Sikh MP and the first turban-wearing Sikh MP, both Labour, according to the Telegraph.

The seven seats that were won by the Conservatives with the slimmest margins were Southampton Itchen (won by 31), Preseli Pembrokeshire (won by 314), Hastings and Rye (won by 346), Chipping Barnet (won by 353), Thurrock (won by 345), Norwich North (won by 507) and Pudsey (won by 331).

Scotland voted to remain in the European Union, and Ms Davidson has called for a softer approach to the withdrawal process. A "soft" Brexit would remove Britain as a member of the European Union, but permit it to remain in the single market. A key factor in enabling the Conservatives to cling to power, however, may have been Corbyn's alienation of the Jewish vote.

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After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May was expected to appoint a team that will take on one of the most demanding negotiations in British history. But there can be no question that this Labour leader is a transformed man, although observers have been dismissive of him due to the politics that he espouses.

Jack Straw, a former Labour foreign minister, said the result means there will now be a lot of pressure in parliament for a soft Brexit. MPs will, however, consider numerous pieces of Brexit-related legislation, which will offer opportunities for opponents of a hard Brexit to rebel.

Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said the result had put the whole future of Brexit at risk.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said he was also ready to start talks and hoped the United Kingdom general election would not have an impact.

In a statement outside Downing Street, the 60-year-old premier promised to "fulfil the promise of Brexit". Then came the terror attacks in Manchester and London, which refocused the race on security, and May's role in cutting police ranks. Pro-independence Scottish National Party bagged 35 seats.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from VOA News, the Associated Press and Reuters.

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