British PM to seek Queen’s permission to form government

British PM Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government at 11:30 GMT on Friday.

A spokesman from May’s said, after she failed to win an outright majority at a national election.

British voters dealt May a devastating blow in a snap election she had called to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks, wiping out her parliamentary majority and throwing the country into political turmoil.

With no clear winner emerging from Thursday’s election, a wounded May signaled on Friday that she would fight on.

Her Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn, once written off by his opponents as a no-hoper, said May should step down and he wanted to form a minority government.

In the aftermath of one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, politicians and commentators called May’s decision to hold the election a colossal mistake and derided her performance on the campaign trail.

She appeared determined to tough it out, however.

“Theresa May has no intention of announcing her resignation later today,” BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg told BBC radio.

With 649 of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives had won 318 seats.

Though the biggest single winner, they failed to reach the 326-mark they would need to command a parliamentary majority.

Labour had won 261 seats.

With complex talks on Britain’s divorce from the European Union due to start in 10 days, it was unclear who would form the next government and what the direction of Brexit would be.

From the EU’s perspective, the upset meant a possible delay in the start of Brexit talks and an increased risk that negotiations would fail.

“We need a government that can act.

“With a weak negotiating partner, there’s a danger that the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

The EU’s chief negotiator said the bloc’s stance on Brexit and the timetable for the talks were clear, but the divorce negotiations should only start when Britain is ready.

“Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal,” Michel Barnier said.NAN

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