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Sun, 24 January 2021

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By Alice Lilly
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Theresa May tells Tory MPs: I'll get us out of the 'mess' I created

Theresa May tells Tory MPs: I'll get us out of the 'mess' I created
2 min read

Theresa May has told Tory MPs she will get the party out of the "mess" she created by losing their Commons majority.


The Prime Minister also vowed to "serve as long as you want me" as she faced her parliamentary colleagues for the first time since last week's election.

She also revealed that she had now spoken to all of the Conservative MPs who lost their seats in the face of the Labour surge.

A grim-faced Mrs May arrived at a packed Committee Room 14 shortly after 5pm flanked by bodyguards.

Despite the election result, Tory MPs banged their desks and cheers as she entered the room.

Sources said she appeared "contrite" as she delivered a post-mortem on the disappointing result, which has left her trying to reach an agreement with the DUP in order to give the Tories a slim majority.

Mrs May said: "I got us into this mess, I'm going to get us out of it."

Speculation has been mounting that she could face a leadership challenge - with former Chancellor George Osborne describing her as "a dead woman walking".

Vowing to battle on, she told the meeting: "I will serve as long as you want me to."

Mrs May told the meeting that she understood "what went right and what went wrong" with the Tory election campaign.

In an attempt to emphasise her Tory credentials, Mrs May told the meeting she had been stuffing envelopes for the party since she was 12.

One veteran MP said: "She was contrite. She spoke about speaking to colleagues who have lost their seats and putting in place some form of help for them.

"The mood was that there's no leadership contest - she spoke very well."

Mrs May also sought to reassure Tories uncomfortable with doing a deal with the DUP over their record on equalities.

"She said they're not going to have a veto on anything," said one MP. "She was also firm on it not having any impact on the Stormont negotiations."

The MP added: "I think the party has got confidence in her.

"She came across as contrite and genuine, but not on her knees. The easiest thing would have been to stand down, but that's not in her nature."

Another MP said: "We're not having a leadership election any time soon."

One minister said: "There wasn't a single MP who dissented. There was a huge amount of support."

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