'Sorry' Theresa May promises to reflect on changes after election setback
Theresa May has apologised to ousted Conservative MPs and pledged to reflect on changes to her leadership style and top team in light of last night’s election losses.
Earlier today the Prime Minister confirmed she intends to form another government with the support of the DUP after the Conservatives fell short of an overall Commons majority.
But she is under pressure from Tory ranks and a number of MPs have criticised her joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill for the way the election campaign unfolded.
Overall the Tories ended up losing 12 seats in the Commons – despite a strong performance in Scotland – whereas once they had been anticipating a landslide majority.
After an initial statement outside No 10 which made no reference to reverses suffered by the Tories, Mrs May told reporters she was sorry for those candidates who bore the brunt of Labour’s surge.
She said: “As I said many times during the campaign I had wanted to achieve a larger majority but that was not the result that we secured.
“And I’m sorry for all those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren’t successful, but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs and ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats.
“And as I reflect on the results I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward.”
Mrs May insisted she was right to form a government “in the national interest”.
A ministerial reshuffle was due to take place “shortly”, she said, as she refused to rule out other changes.
“Other personnel issues are for other days,” Mrs May added.
No 10 has confirmed that Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson, David Davis, Amber Rudd and Michael Fallon will all keep their existing jobs as Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Brexit Secretary, Home Secretary and Defence Secretary respectively.
Six Conservative ministers lost their seats, including Rob Wilson who said the Tory campaign was “terrible”.
“I don’t have any anger because I don’t think there’s any point in being angry at anybody,” he told Sky News.
“I want the Conservative party to succeed, I want the Conservative party leader to succeed and I want us to be in government.
“We are still in government and, after all is said and done, Labour were 50, 60 seats behind us. So it wasn’t an abysmal failure in terms of number of votes and number of seats.
“But the campaign itself was a terrible campaign. And it’s certainly the worst I’ve been through by a long, long way.”