WATCH Theresa May faces call to quit as Conservatives endure 'very difficult' local election results

Posted On: 
3rd May 2019

Theresa May has been urged to resign after the Conservatives suffered a "very difficult" set of results in the local elections.

Theresa May arrives on stage at the Welsh Tory conference.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister was heckled by an activist as she appeared at the Welsh Tory Party conference.

Mrs May had just appeared on stage at Llangollen Pavilion when the man shouted: "Why don't you resign? The National Convention doesn't want you, we don't want you."

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Some of those attending the conference applauded the comments, while others jeered. He was then ushered out of the auditorium.

The beleaguered Conservative leader tried to make light of the situation by responding "and good afternoon" in Welsh.

But it was yet another blow for Mrs May following a night of heavy losses for her party.

 

 

With around half of results declared, the Tories had lost control of 21 councils and more than 600 councillors.

In her speech to the Welsh party conference, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the hundreds of councillors that were punished in the polls through “no fault of their own”.

Mrs May said: “Those elections were very difficult for our party, the results are still coming in but the message is clear.

“Councillors who have given years of hard work in their local communities have lost through no fault of their own…

“Now this is a difficult time for our party and these election results are a symptom of that, we have the privilege of governing our party at a momentous time and we have a responsibility to deliver something truly historic.

“What is momentous and historic is seldom simple and straightforward, but I think there was a simple message from yesterday’s election to both us and the Labour party, just get on and deliver Brexit.”

As bruising results came in across the country, Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford was left visibly distraught as she watched her party lose its 45-seat majority on the local council as it was seized by the Lib Dems.

The Leave-voting region was one of several heavy Conservative casualties with Somerset West and Taunton also losing a whopping 31 Tory councillors.

Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire echoed the Prime Minister’s message that voters were telling the Government to get Brexit done.

“I think in part it is that context where we are defending obviously a significant number of seats and where you are in nine years of an administration, but clearly Brexit was there very firmly," he told Sky News.

“I felt it when I was out on the doorsteps talking to people on a sense of ‘you need to sort this out, it hasn’t been done’…

“It is deeply saddening to see the Conservative councillors who have not been returned last night.”

But the Cabinet Minister dismissed calls for Theresa May to step down as party leader over the performance as he rubbished suggestions that major Liberal Democrat gains were an indication of the public’s backing for a People’s Vote.

“The Lib Dems have been the party of protest for many, many years," he added.

“When you look at where some of those results have played out I don’t think its necessarily binary and therefore that means there should be some form of second referendum.

“I don’t believe that, I don’t think that will be giving effect the 2016 referendum result we need to get on with this.”

'SLAP IN THE FACE'

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the results were a “slap in the face” for both the main parties, while Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis accepted the “huge frustration” from the public over Brexit.

He told BBC Radio 4: “I absolutely accept there is huge frustration, not just with our members and activists, but the public around where Parliament and we’ve got ourselves to on delivering on Brexit.

“I think there is a very clear message to both parties that we’ve got to get on with getting Brexit done.”

Newly appointed Brexit minister James Cleverly also rallied to the defence of Conservative councillors he said were being “unfairly punished” by voters.

Tory MPs have paid tribute to many of their local member colleagues who were booted out following last night’s dramatic results.

But the party boosted support across 19 areas, with the largest gain made in Stoke-on-Trent, narrowing the gap with the local Labour party to one seat.