Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May / AFP PHOTO / Leon Neal
British Prime Minister Theresa May admitted Thursday she shed “a little tear” after realising her election gamble last month had backfired spectacularly, but denied she had considered quitting.
In an interview marking one year in office, the Conservative leader said it came as a “complete shock” to realise she had lost her parliamentary majority after calling a snap vote in expectation of a landslide.
The party lost 13 seats in the June 8 election and now holds 317 out of 650 in parliament, relying on support from Northern Ireland’s ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party to be able to govern.
May during the campaign emphasised her “strong and stable leadership” as Britain headed into Brexit, but she was accused of a robotic performance, relying too much on soundbites.
She has since come under pressure to resign.
“I didn’t consider stepping down, because I felt there was a responsibility there to ensure the country still had a government,” May told BBC radio.
She added: “It can be easy sometimes, if something like this happens, just to walk away and to leave somebody else to deal with it.
“What I’ve said to my colleagues, is that I got us into this and I’m going to work to get us out.”
The 60-year-old vicar’s daughter said her husband Philip informed her of the projected result after polls closed.
“It took a few minutes for it to sink in,” she said, adding that he gave her a hug and she shed “a little tear… at that moment”.
She said she was “devastated”.
“I knew the campaign wasn’t going perfectly but, still, the messages I was getting… were that we were going to get a better result than we did.”