Theresa May: I will fight the next general election

Posted On: 
28th September 2017

Theresa May has insisted she will lead the Conservatives into the next general election.

Theresa May enters Number 10 after becoming Prime Minister last year.
PA Images

In a defiant message to her critics ahead of the Tory conference, she repeated her claim that she is "not a quitter".

Speculation is rife at Westminster that Mrs May will be forced to stand down before the next election, which is due in 2022.

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But in an interview with BBC South Today, the Prime Minister said she had no intention of leaving her job before then.

Asked if she would still be leader come the next election, she said: "I've answered this question before and I've been very clear that I am not a quitter, that I'm in it for the long-term and that there's a job to be done and I will be fighting the next election."

Her comments are likely to cause some concern among Tory MPs still angry at her decision to call the snap election only to lose her Commons majority.

After initially declaring her aim of staying in Number 10 for years to come during a trip to Japan in August, unnamed ministers made clear their unhappiness.

One told PoliticsHome: "She told us she was going to get us out of this mess. That's fine, but do it first and then say you're going to stay on for years.

"What she's said is going to go down really badly. It implies that she's learned nothing. She needs to show a lot more humility and understanding of what's going on in the party. There's a lot of untapped anger that could break out at any time."

Former Cabinet minister Lord Heseltine said: "The Tory party will have to decide whether they want a re-run of the contest against Jeremy Corbyn... my own guess is that they won't.

"The long term is the difficult one for Theresa May because I don't think she has got a long-term. I think we face a general election in a couple of years."

But First Secretary Damian Green - a close ally of the Prime Minister - told The Spectator that she will still be in charge come the next election.

He said: "By 2022, she will have a big record of achievement to show.

"I'm optimistic that we'll have a good Brexit deal, and we're determined to pursue a domestic agenda that will show people who may not have previously benefited from Conservative successes can do so."