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Monday 20 May 2019

Record shows May is the weakest UK prime minister of modern era

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Getty
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Getty

Patrick Scott

During her time in office, Theresa May has effectively lost her parliamentary majority, suffered many Commons defeats - some of historic proportions - and seen a stream of resignations from her government.

With the timetable now wrestled from her, Mrs May is in an incredibly weakened position and the numbers are such that she could even be considered the weakest prime minister in modern UK politics.

The two defeats suffered by her government on Monday night brought the total number endured by her since the 2017 election to 20.

Mrs May's tally rises to 29, however, when including the nine occasions on which the government allowed opposition motions to pass without a division.

The defeats endured by the prime minister have also been notable for their size, with the first meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement being defeated by a record margin of 230.

The second meaningful vote - lost by 149 votes - comes fourth on the list of biggest defeats in the modern era.

In total, Mrs May has lost eight cabinet ministers since the last election - a rate of one every 79 days.

Irish Independent

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