Friday 24 November 2017

'Politics has changed' - Jeremy Corbyn calls on Theresa May to resign as she promises 'stability'

  • Corbyn elected with a massive 40,086 votes in Islington
  • Labour leader launches attack on Theresa May in victory speech
  • May vows to deliver 'period of stability' for UK if she is elected as PM
  • Pound plummets against the Euro and Dollar
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, arrives at a counting centre for Britain's general election in London, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, arrives at a counting centre for Britain's general election in London, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Prime Minister Theresa May at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Picture: Eddie Keogh
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to resign saying that people had rejected her policies of "austerity".

Mr Corbyn was speaking after he received a massive personal vote of 40,086 in his constituency of Islington.

He said he was humbled by the large vote he has received after being elected for the ninth time.

He spoke about his gratitude to his family and friends.

Mr Corbyn said: "Politics has changed.

"Politics is not going back into the box where it was before.

"What's happened is people have said they have had quite enough of austerity politics, they have had quite enough of cuts in public expenditure, underfunding our health service, underfunding our schools and our education service and not giving our young people the chance they deserve in our society."

People were "voting for hope for the future and turning their backs on austerity", he said.

In an attack on Mrs May he said: "The Prime Minister called the election because she wanted a mandate.

"Well the mandate she has got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.

"I would have thought that's enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country."

He added: "In the new parliament we will do everything we can to ensure that everything we have said in this campaign and everything that is included in our manifesto is put before parliament so that this country can be a different, and I believe, fundamentally better place."

A shorty time later Theresa May was elected in Maidenhead and in a short victory speech vowed to act to ensure "a period of stability".

She said that it looks like the Conservative party will be the largest party and it will be "incumbent on us to provide that stability".

Mrs May's comments appeared to indicate she is preparing for the possibility of a hung parliament, after her massive gamble on a snap election backfired sensationally.

After going into the June 8 poll on the back of opinion polls suggesting she was heading for a substantially increased majority, Mrs May has lost two ministers, including the author of her manifesto, among a string of Conservative casualties.

The pound plummeted more than 1.5pc against the US dollar and 1pc against the euro as the shock figures set the scene for political turmoil at Westminster, disruption to upcoming Brexit negotiations and the possibility of a second election later in the year.

Former chancellor George Osborne, sacked from the Cabinet by Mrs May when she took office last July, told ITV: "Clearly if she's got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government then she I doubt will survive in the long term as Conservative party leader."

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said the party would hold Mrs May to her campaign statement that if she lost six or more seats she would no longer be Prime Minister.

"Theresa May's authority has been undermined by this election," said Mr Watson.

"She is a damaged Prime Minister whose reputation may never recover."

Mr Osborne said there would be "a very big post mortem coming" in the party after the loss of Treasury minister Jane Ellison in Battersea.

Her defeat was followed by the loss of Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer in Ipswich.

Mr Gummer was the author of the manifesto which was blamed for driving away older voters furious at its plans to sell elderly people's homes after their deaths to pay for social care.

Labour took Canterbury, a seat which had been held by Conservatives since 1918.

Other prominent departures from the House of Commons included former deputy prime minister and ex-Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who lost Sheffield Hallam to Labour after 12 years, and the Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson, whose Moray seat was taken by Tories.

Liberal Democrats were celebrating the return of former ministers Sir Vince Cable, Sir Ed Davey and Jo Swinson two years after they lost their parliamentary seats.

And Tim Farron's party took Bath back from Conservatives.

Mr Farron held on to his Westmorland and Lonsdale seat in Cumbria on a much-reduced majority, down from 8,949 in 2015 to just 777 now.

Ukip suffered a collapse in its support across the country following its best ever showing two years ago, with former voters switching to both Labour and the Tories.

Leader Paul Nuttall came a distant third in Boston & Skegness, taking little more than 3,000 votes.

With just 10 days to go before talks on Britain's EU withdrawal are due to begin in Brussels, Mr Nuttall said Mrs May had put Brexit "in jeopardy" by her decision to call a snap election.

"I said at the start this election was wrong. Hubris," he said.

Mr Nuttall's predecessor Nigel Farage said the Brexit project would be "in some trouble" if a Corbyn-led administration took office, and suggested he might return to frontline politics if doubts were raised about the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

He questioned Mrs May's position, saying: "Whatever the true result, the Conservative party needs a leader that believes in Brexit."

Mr Corbyn's party claimed Tory scalps in Stockton South and Vale of Clwyd and took Rutherglen & Hamilton West from the SNP, one of a series of reversals for the nationalists following their historic tally of 56 out of 59 seats north of the border in 2015.

Education Secretary Justine Greening scraped home in Putney, but saw her 2015 majority of more than 10,000 shrink to little more than 1,500.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour "could form the next government" and would attempt to do so as a minority government if results allowed, rather than seeking to form a coalition with other progressive parties like the Lib Dems.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, often tipped as a potential successor to Mrs May as Tory leader, said: "We've got to listen to our constituents and listen to their concerns."

2017-06 (694).jpg
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Picture: Eddie Keogh

Mrs May suffered another ministerial casualty as Gavin Barwell lost his Croydon Central seat to Labour.

Mr Barwell, who was housing minister, lost by 5,652 votes to Labour's Sarah Jones.

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