Theresa May confirms she will remain Prime Minister to provide 'certainty' after election losses
Theresa May has confirmed she will stay on as Prime Minister and govern with the support of the DUP after the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority.
In a statement outside No 10 after a chastening night for the Tories, Mrs May said only her party had the “legitimacy and ability” to give certainty to the country in the years to come.
The Conservatives ended up with 318 MPs, 12 fewer than they had at the time of calling the election and eight short of the number needed to form a majority.
They have forged a deal to secure the support of the DUP’s ten MPs, however, to remain in government.
The terms of the agreement have not been made clear, but it is expected to stop short of a formal coalition.
Mrs May went to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace this lunchtime to seek permission to form a government.
Afterwards, she returned to Downing Street to deliver a statement which did not refer explicitly to last night’s election results – but stressed the themes of Brexit and security.
She said: “I will now form a government. A government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at a critical time for our country.
“This Government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just ten days, and will deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union...
“What the country needs more than ever is certainty and, having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the general election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons.
“As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular. Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.
“This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity.
“That’s what people voted for last June; that’s what we deliver. Now, let’s get to work.”
Mrs May also harked back to her first speech outside No 10 as Prime Minister when she referred to putting “fairness and opportunity at the heart” of her administration.
And she made a pointed reference to governing “over the next five years”.
After last night’s reverses, some Conservatives have questioned Mrs May’s position while others have targeted her chiefs of staff Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy.