Saturday, June 10, 2017 4:44 pm
British Prime Minister Theresa May fought for survival on Saturday after a failed election gamble undermined her authority and plunged the country into a major political crisis, days before commencement of talks on quitting the EU.
May’s bet that she could strengthen her hand by crushing what she believed to be a weak opposition Labour Party, backfired spectacularly on Thursday as voters stripped her Conservative Party of a parliamentary majority.
The stunning outcome left May battling to unite different factions of her party and relying on a handful of Northern Irish parliamentarians, just nine days before Britain starts the tortuous process of negotiating its departure from the EU.
Britain’s typically pro-Conservative press savaged May and questioned whether she could remain in power, only two months after officially triggering the country’s divorce from the European bloc.
Britain’s best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of the party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait for no less than six months because they were worried that a leadership contest could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, into power.
“She’s staying, for now,’’ one Conservative Party source told newsmen.
May called the snap election to win a clear mandate for her plan to take Britain out of the EU’s single market and customs union, so she could slash immigration.
Report says her party is deeply divided over what they want from Brexit and the result means British businessmen still have no idea what trading rules they can expect in the coming years.
The British pound, however, tumbled against the U.S. dollar and the euro, after the election result. (Reuters/NAN)