Theresa May to reach out to Labour for Brexit help after election losses
Theresa May has pleaded with Labour to work constructively with the Government on plans for Brexit and beyond, as she seeks to draw a line under the post-election turmoil.
In a clear admission that the election result left her severely weakened, the Prime Minister will reach out to opposition parties and urge them to “contribute, not just criticise”.
She will look back over her year at Number 10 by recalling her first speech on Downing Street and insisting she was right to assess the Brexit vote as a call for “great national change”.
But – after a month of speculation about her future as Prime Minister since the Tories lost their majority in the general election – Mrs May will also acknowledge the Conservatives’ fragility in the House of Commons.
The comments will come alongside the publication of a report by Matthew Taylor into modern employment practices and how to update legislation to cover the changing realities of the workplace.
“When I commissioned this report I led a majority government in the House of Commons. The reality I now face as Prime Minister is rather different,” Mrs May will say.
“In this new context, it will be even more important to make the case for our policies and our values, and to win the battle of ideas both in Parliament as well as in the country.
“So I say to the other parties in the House of Commons… come forward with your own views and ideas about how we can tackle these challenges as a country.
“We may not agree on everything, but through debate and discussion – the hallmarks of our Parliamentary democracy – ideas can be clarified and improved and a better way forward found.”
Andrew Gwynne, the Shadow Communities Secretary, responded to Mrs May’s overture by mocking the Cabinet as “Dead Beats”.
“Theresa May has finally come clean and accepted the government has completely run out of ideas. As a result they’re having to beg for policy proposals from Labour,” he added.
“This is further evidence that this government can no longer run the country.”
The Government is expected to publish its Repeal Bill, which transposes European Union statutes into UK law, on Thursday – the one-year anniversary of Mrs May taking over as Prime Minister.
In her speech tomorrow, Mrs May will return to her first comments on the steps of No 10 when she identified so-called “Just About Managing” families as her Government’s priority.
And she will issue a defiant message in the face of reports about plans within the Conservative ranks to unseat her.
She will say: “Though the result of last month’s general election was not what I wanted, those defining beliefs remain, my commitment to change in Britain is undimmed; my belief in the potential of the British people and what we can achieve together as a nation remains steadfast; and the determination I have to get to grips with the challenges posed by a changing world never more sure.
“I am convinced that the path that I set out in that first speech outside Number 10 and upon which we have set ourselves as a government remains the right one. It will lead to the stronger, fairer Britain that we need. It will deliver the change people want. It will ensure we make the most of this opportunity to ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be and to answer that question with confidence, optimism and hope.”