Skip To Content
  • election2017 badge

Live Updates: The State Opening Of Parliament Is Now Expected To Take Place On Wednesday

The UK voted last week in a snap general election called by the prime minister on 18 April.

Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

What We Know So Far

  • Theresa May is clinging on to power after losing her majority in the House of Commons in Thursday's general election. Talks are taking place with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 MPs could allow her to continue to govern.

  • There are big concerns about the DUP's policies and history over its stance on such social issues as abortion and LGBT rights.

  • After some uncertainty, the leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, announced that the Queen's speech and state opening of parliament is expected to take place on Wednesday, 21 June – two days later than originally scheduled.

  • Irish taoiseach – or prime minister – Enda Kenny has expressed concern about the impact of any deal on the Northern Ireland peace process.

  • Both Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson are putting pressure on May to soften the terms of Brexit. Brexit secretary David Davis claims the election result suggests popular support for leaving the single market.

  • There are hints of Labour divisions over the single market, with shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner contradicting the shadow chancellor John McDonnell over the party's approach.

  • May has reshuffled her cabinet, leaving most positions unchanged, although Michael Gove returns to government as environment secretary.

  • The PM staved off rebellion after a meeting with the Conservative backbench 1922 committee. She reportedly told MPs: "I got us into this mess and I'm going to get us out of it."

  • Brexit talks with the EU are due to begin on 19 June. Here's what the election result could mean for talks.


Posted at

Parliament expected to open next Wednesday, leader of the House of Commons says

The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, announced on Thursday morning that the state opening of parliament and the Queen's Speech are expected to take place on Wednesday, 21 June – two days later than planned.

The opening of parliament was delayed as Theresa May is still working on making a deal with the DUP, which would give her a majority in the House of Commons.

The delay also means the Queen will be missing a part of Royal Ascot, which starts next Tuesday and runs for four days.

–Marie Le Conte

Posted at

Corbyn: Labour is “ready to provide strong and stable leadership in the national interest”

The Labour leader has enjoyed his first clash with embattled prime minister Theresa May as recently elected MPs took their seats in the House of Commons for the first time since the election.

Jeremy Corbyn, with a red rose pinned to his suit, pulled no punches. Addressing the PM he said: "I'm sure she'll agree with me that democracy is a wonderful thing, and can throw up some very unexpected results."

"I'm sure we all look forward to welcoming the Queen's Speech just as soon as the coalition of chaos has been negotiated," he said. "If that's not possible, the Labour party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest."

Corbyn also regaled the Commons with an anecdote about the new father of the house, Ken Clarke, saying: "I've never quite forgotten the image of the member for Rushcliffe in the tearoom wearing Hush Puppies, eating bacon sandwiches, drinking super-strength lager, and carrying a cigar while taking a break from a debate on healthy living."

Earlier, May had welcomed new MPs and called for "unity". She commended the house on its ever-more diverse make-up, and broke with tradition to welcome Harriet Harman, Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham, as mother of the house.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Bercow re-elected as Speaker of the House of Commons

Conservative MP John Bercow has been re-elected as Commons Speaker after standing unopposed for the position.

Theresa May, also in the chamber, congratulated him, joking: "At least someone got a landslide."

Bercow congratulated the 87 new MPs. "Whatever else you have done or will do in the course of your careers, there will be no greater honour than that which you have just attained as an elected member of parliament," he told the house.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Theresa May thinks IndyRef 2 is "dead" and won't allow it during this parliament

Pa / PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May believes the case for another referendum on independence is "dead" and her government will refuse to discuss the matter with Nicola Sturgeon for the duration of this parliament, BuzzFeed News has learned.

The SNP lost 22 seats in last week's election – including those of former first minster Alex Salmond and deputy leader Angus Robertson – and the prime minister believes the result has killed any possible case for another referendum until there's another general election, according to one of her ministers.

May, who suffered a humbling election night where she lost her majority and saw her authority significantly diminished, spent the election campaign saying "now is not the time" to accept Sturgeon's request to open discussions about holding another referendum on independence.

According to the reappointed Scotland secretary, David Mundell, the prime minister has now ruled out any possibility of opening those discussions for the entire duration of this parliament, which is scheduled to last until 2022.

You can read more here. –Jamie Ross

Posted at

Former PM John Major "wary" and "dubious" of DUP/Tory deal that could threaten Northern Irish peace agreement

John Major, former Conservative prime minister, has said he is "concerned" and "wary" that any deal agreed between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist Party could threaten the Northern Irish peace process.

"I am wary of it, I am dubious," he said of the proposed deal, "because of the peace process."

Major, who was one of the architects of the peace process, told the BBC's World at One that the carefully negotiated agreement that secured peace in Northern Ireland was "fragile".

"People should not regard it as a given, it isn't certain, it is under stress, it is fragile," he said. "Although I do not expect it to suddenly collapse because there is a broad consensus that wishes it to continue, I think we have to take care with it."

Major said that a "fundamental part" of the agreement was that the British government would remain impartial. This impartiality could be placed under extreme stress should the deal with the DUP go ahead, he said, giving rise to the possibility that "hard men" who continued to "lurk" in the background of Northern Irish politics could re-emerge.

"It is very important that there is a honest broker, and the only honest broker is the British government," and if it appeared to no longer be so, he said, then that would be a serious cause for alarm.

"I think that's for the lawyers to determine," he responded when questioned if Theresa May's proposed deal could breach the Good Friday Agreement.

Major also said he believed that May could carry on without making a deal. "I am not entirely convinced that although a deal would make parliamentary votes easier, that it is absolutely necessary for Mrs May to remain as prime minister and carry on with her work."

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

DUP leader Arlene Foster has arrived at Number 10 for talks with Theresa May.

DUP leader Arlene Foster arrives at Downing Street for talks with the prime minister

Talks between the DUP and the Conservative party, which hopes to form an agreement with the DUP's 10 MPs that would allow it to form a government, continue.

An agreement is expected to be announced by both parties later today.

Posted at

Northern Irish politicians fear a "dodgy deal" between the DUP and Tories on marching rights will hurt community relations

Theresa May would seriously harm relations between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland if she enters into a "dodgy deal" with the Democratic Unionist Party on loyalist marching rights, local politicians have warned.

Two Northern Irish politicians have told BuzzFeed News that arrangement will compromise the British government's neutrality on the peace process and have urged Ms May not to "undercut" Northern Irish people in order to stay in power.

The Orange Order, which has many links to the DUP, is perceived by many to be anti-Catholic and is known for its controversial marches in Catholic areas of Northern Ireland, which often prove flash points for sectarian violence.

In light of the DUP's pact to prop up the Conservative party, the Order has called on the DUP – with whom they enjoy a historically close relationship – to use their position of influence to reduce restrictions on their marches.

You can read more about marching rights and the Tory / DUP deal here.

–Siobhan Fenton

Posted at

Here's what a soft Brexit could actually mean

Leon Neal/WPA Pool / Getty

There has been much talk since last week's election that Britain could seek a "softer Brexit" following Theresa May's failure to secure a Commons majority.

With the PM severely weakened, the Evening Standard reports that May's cabinet now has a "sensibles" wing, arguing against the "creationists" that the UK should now prioritise jobs and the economy over cutting immigration. Some Labour and Tory MPs have gone as far as suggesting the UK could even try to stay in the single market.

But there is little agreement and a lot of confusion – in both main parties – as to what a softer Brexit would actually mean in practice.

"The UK position already lacked substance. Now it is even more unclear," a senior European government official told BuzzFeed News.

A fundamentally different approach to Brexit to the one envisioned by May would require a substantial change to several red lines set by the prime minister before the election. So here's what her options would be for a softer Brexit, and the challenges they present:

  • Continued single market membership, but the EU position has not changed
  • The UK could stay in the customs union, but that would mean no comprehensive trade deals with other countries
  • A multi-year transition deal
  • A continued relationship with EU agencies, but at a cost
  • Guaranteeing citizens' rights, but that means a role for the European Court of Justice

Each of these shifts will require serious movement from the government. And for now, the view in most of Europe's capitals is that there is no indication that the UK position has changed or that Britain is yet prepared for the complicated talks and tasks that await.

"An already weak hand has just become weaker," a second senior government official told BuzzFeed News.

You can read more about the different approaches – and the challenges May will face – here. –Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

Theresa May tells the Tories' 1922 committee that she'll fix "this mess"

Theresa May told a meeting of Tory MPs that "I got us into this mess and I'm going to get us out of it", according to one veteran MP who said the party was increasingly united behind the prime minister.

The Conservative politician told reporters outside a meeting of the backbench 1922 committee that the prime minister had the support of her party and "there was none of the Maybot" in her speech.

Instead, there was an intermittent low rumbling of tables being banged approvingly and sometimes laughter, with the MP likening the atmosphere to being at "an Evelyn Waugh minor public school".

"She came across contrite and genuine but not on her knees," said the MP. "The easiest thing for her to do would be to stand down but that's not in the nature of her."

The MP said the prime minister was "contrite at the beginning" and said she was personally contacting every defeated Tory MP to commiserate and was putting in place help for them "which we've never done before – we're not the ruthless party for nothing".

The MP, who insisted there would be no summer leadership contest, said there were two main issues raised regarding the potential deal with Northern Ireland's DUP.

May was, according to the MP, questioned on the DUP's record on social matters and "the whole issue of LGB… What is it? Well, I'm of that generation."

They said there was no risk of British LGBT rights being watered down: "As most people know they're not going to have a veto on that – it's a free vote in any case."

The prime minister, they said, also insisted the DUP alliance would not affect the Northern Irish peace process: "She was pretty firm about not having an impact in terms of efforts to get the assembly back up."

–Jim Waterson

Posted at

DUP defends talks with the Conservatives after Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams accuses it of breaking the Good Friday Agreement

The leader and deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds, have defended their talks with Theresa May, who is seeking to form a government with the party's 10 MPs, as "a tremendous opportunity" after the president of Northern Ireland's Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, accused them of breaking the Good Friday agreement.

"The Fundamental of the Good Friday Agreement is the fact that it's for the people of Northern Ireland to decide on whether they wish to remain in the United Kingdom – known as the principal of consent," Foster told Sky News outside Stormont on Monday afternoon.

"The Principal of consent underlines everything that's there in the good Friday agreement, that means of course that we are a full member of the United Kingdom.

"As such of course the parliamentarians would wish to play as full a role as they possibly can in the national parliament just as some in Sinn Fein would like to play a role in the Irish Parliament."

At a separate press conference earlier on Monday, Adams was critical of the developing arrangement between the DUP and the Conservative party.

"We don't believe that any deal with the DUP here and English Tories will be good for the people here," he said. "Any deal which undercuts in any way the process here or the Good Friday and the other agreements is one which has to be opposed by progressives."

"Any deal which undercuts in anyway the process here or the GF+ other agreements is 1 which has to be opposed by pr…

Adams also has a seat in parliament in the Republic of Ireland as a Teachta Dála – Ireland's version of an MP – for Louth.

Dodds too questioned Sinn Féin's presence in the Irish parliament in light of Adams' criticisms of DUP talks with the Conservative party.

"Are Sinn Féin now going to rule out taking any position in any future government in the Irish Republic, because that would be a breach of the Good Friday agreement," he told Sky News.

"I think the people of the Irish Republic would be very, very interested, as would other members of other political parties to know before they fight the next general election, whether or not Sinn Féin are going to rule themselves out of government on the basis that it's a breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Because if that's what they say about us then it applies to them equally."

–Laura Silver

Posted at

SNP leader claims hard Brexit is "dead in the water"

#SNP leader Nicola #Sturgeon tells me hard #Brexit is "dead in the water."

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that hard Brexit is "dead in the water" in the wake of the general election results.

Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson are due to meet prime minister Theresa May today. Ahead of the meeting, the SNP leader said May's current Brexit position "simply cannot stand".

Having triggered a snap election with a substantial lead in the polls, May watched that lead dribble away, with the Conservatives actually losing seats in the election last Thursday, but clung to power over the weekend. Formal talks with the EU over Brexit are scheduled to begin on 19 June.

Sturgeon's remarks come as she told the BBC she believes there should be a "pause" on Brexit negotiations until a UK-wide position could be established.

She believes that membership of the single market and customs union should be "at the heart" of any discussion – despite May's insistence that the UK will leave both. Some figures in Labour, notably the shadow chancellor John McDonnell, also agree with the PM on this issue.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Confusion in Westminister as Queen's Speech and Brexit negotiations reportedly pushed back

19 June was shaping up to be a big day in British politics, with the Brexit negotiations and the Queen's Speech, formally opening the new parliament, scheduled to take place. But there was confusion this morning as to whether either of those events will now happen that day, after a briefing of journalists by the prime minister's official spokesperson.

MPs have begun returning to Westminster and will be sworn in today. Theresa May's new government was then scheduled to put forward its legislative programme on Monday next week. But her official spokesperson wouldn't confirm that the Queen's speech will still be happening on 19 June. He would only say that an "update" will be coming soon from the office of the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom.

The BBC then reported that the speech will be delayed by a few days.

It's possible that Downing Street has decided to delay until it has agreed its deal with the DUP, which will affect the contents of the speech.

The precise timing of the start of negotiations with the European Union about Britain's withdrawal from the bloc also seemed to be up in the air. The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier had set down 19 June for the start of the talks, and Theresa May had repeatedly said during her election campaign that Brexit talks would start "11 days after the election".

But her spokesman also refused to confirm that the timetable remains in place. Earlier, David Davis, the Brexit minister, said in media interviews only that it would be "next week".

–Alex Spence

Posted at

Sturgeon and Davidson head south to put pressure on May to soften Brexit deal

Andy Buchanan / AFP / Getty Images

Both Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson will accompany their MPs to Westminster today where the leaders will be trying to put pressure on the prime minister to soften the terms of Brexit.

SNP leader Sturgeon and her 35 MPs are urging Theresa May to take a "short pause" before the beginning of the Brexit negotiations to allow time to agree a new approach which is supported by every nation in the UK.

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed News understands Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, will have a meeting with the prime minister in the early afternoon after saying over the weekend she wants May to "look again" at her Brexit approach.

Speaking ahead of her meeting with MPs, Sturgeon said: "The Tory position on Brexit does not carry popular support, is not backed by all four nations of the UK or a majority of MPs, and any attempt to continue with it will be disastrous for Scotland and for Britain.

"A new position should be agreed swiftly between cross-party representatives in Westminster and the democratically elected governments of all parts of the UK as well as both sides of the political debate in Northern Ireland."

The first minister is also urging May to include all the devolved governments of the UK in Brexit negotiations and says the priority must now be placed on retaining the UK's membership of the European single market.

Davidson's visit to Westminster comes after Scottish Conservatives sources told BuzzFeed News they will essentially act as a party within a party at Westminster, with their allegiance lying with Davidson.

Speaking on Saturday, Davidson said the UK should be seeking an "open Brexit" that prioritises the economy above everything else, and that she would be asking the prime minister for a place in negotiations.

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

David Davis says elements of the Tory manifesto could be "pruned away"

Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

David Davis has confirmed speculation in the Daily Mail that elements of the Tory manifesto could be scrapped in order to secure Cabinet support and work with the DUP. Speaking on Radio 4, he said "elements of the manifesto could be pruned away", though declined to say which.

The Mail reported that plans to "scrap the triple lock on pensions, means-test the winter fuel allowance and repeal the foxhunting ban are set to be ditched in a 'slimmed-down' Queen's Speech next week."

Davis said he had "little doubt" a deal would be reached with the DUP.

He also spoke about the Brexit talks, which start a week today. He said the first item on the agenda would be the rights of EU citizens.

"Something like 80% of people voted for the parties who have accepted that we wanted to leave the European Union ... The reason for leaving the Single Market is because we want to take back control of our borders," he said, adding that John McDonnell agreed with him. He reiterated his stance that "no deal is better than a bad deal", saying: "People don't realise ... there isn't just an in or out – there are competing interests. ... It's important to have the option to walk away."

–Alan White

Posted at

Shadow trade secretary hints at disagreement over Brexit policy

Danny Lawson / PA Wire/PA Images

Barry Gardiner, Labour's shadow international trade secretary, has hinted at party divisions over membership of the EU's single market.

Yesterday shadow chancellor John McDonnell indicated that remaining in the single market was "not feasible". Staying in the single market would not respect the result of the EU referendum, McDonnell told ITV.

Gardiner appeared to carefully row back from this. "What we've said is that we need those benefits, and whether they're achieved through reformed membership of the the single market and the customs union, or through a new, bespoke trading arrangement, is actually secondary to achieving the benefits," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

"It's an open question as to what we can get. What we criticised [the Conservatives] for doing is taking membership of the single market off the table right from the beginning."

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Michael Gove "delighted" to return to government

Pa / PA Archive/PA Images

Michael Gove has been named the new environment secretary, almost a year after he was sacked from the government by prime minister Theresa May.

After a tumultuous weekend that saw May cling to power, former cabinet member Gove said he was "delighted" and "surprised" to be reappointed to the cabinet.

Gove, who told Sky News he was in Surrey yesterday as May announced limited changes to her cabinet, will take on the role of secretary of state for the environment.

"I'm absolutely delighted, climate secretary's a really important job, and I'm really flattered that Theresa May as prime minister has asked me to rejoin the team," he said. "I hope to play a part in ensuring that as we prepare to leave the European Union, and as things like the common agricultural union no longer apply, that we safeguard what's best in our environment and make sure those that make our countryside beautiful and who keep it productive are at the heart of policymaking."

Gove's reappointment has been taken as a sign of May's weakness following the election. The prime minister made minimal changes to her cabinet, demoting only Liz Truss from justice secretary to a chief secretary of the Treasury.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Leadsom to lead...the Commons

David Mirzoeff / PA Wire/PA Images

Former Tory leadership contender Andrea Leadsom has been named the leader of the House of Commons, a role that will take on more importance in a hung parliament. She had previously been environment secretary.

Meanwhile, James Brokenshire and Karen Bradley have been confirmed as remaining in their posts of Northern Ireland secretary and culture secretary respectively.

Posted at

Theresa May has reshuffled her cabinet – barely

Following on from the disastrous results of the general election, in which Theresa May's Conservative party actually lost seats and a narrowly held majority, the prime minister kept nearly all cabinet positions the same in a reshuffle.

Liz Truss, formerly justice secretary, was demoted to chief secretary of the Treasury. David Lidington, formerly leader of the Commons, replaced her.

David Gauke was promoted to pensions secretary, while Damian Green, who formerly held the role, was given the position of first secretary of state and minister for the Cabinet Office – effectively becoming May's number two.

Jeremy Hunt was also confirmed as health secretary. By Sunday evening only a handful of cabinet positions remained unconfirmed.

On Friday, the big positions of chancellor, home secretary, foreign secretary, Brexit secretary, and defence secretary remained with their previous incumbents.

Posted at

Priti Patel stays on at DFID

/ PA Wire/PA Images

"Priti Patel has been confirmed as Secretary of State for International Development," a statement confirmed.

Patel was appointed secretary of state for the Department for International Development under May last year. MP for Witham since 2010, prior to heading up DFID, Patel was minister of state for the Department of Work and Pensions. –Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Chris Grayling stays as transport secretary

Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

"Chris Grayling has been confirmed as Secretary of State for Transport," a statement confirmed.

The MP for Epsom and Ewell since 2001, Grayling was appointed secretary of state for transport last year by May. Grayling has been a staunch defender of May in the past turbulent few hours following the Conservative's disastrous results.

With Grayling confirmed as staying, 15 of 22 cabinet posts have been filled with 12 cabinet ministers in place. There have been only three moves.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Gavin Williamson reappointed as chief whip

"Gavin Williamson has been confirmed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)," a statement confirmed.

Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire since 2010, was first appointed last year.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Jeremy Hunt stays on as health secretary

Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

"Jeremy Hunt has been confirmed as Secretary of State for Health," a statement confirmed.

Hunt, MP for South West Surrey since 2005, has proved hugely controversial as health secretary. He was appointed in September 2012 under then-prime minister David Cameron.

During the last reshuffle under new PM Theresa May, Hunt notably entered Number 10 without his usual NHS pin – undoubtedly expecting the sack – only to re-emerge still health minister, and with NHS pin suddenly prominently back in place. He arrived for the reshuffle this year with his NHS pin in place. –Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Alun Cairns stays on as Welsh secretary of state

Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment

"Alun Cairns has been confirmed as Secretary of State for Wales," a statement confirmed.

The MP for the Vale of Glamorgan since 2005 was first appointed the secretary of state for Wales in 2016.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

David Lidington appointed Justice secretary

Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of David Lidington as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice," a statement confirmed.

He takes over from Liz Truss, demoted to chief secretary of the Treasury.

Lidington, appointed leader of the House by May and formerly Europe minister under David Cameron, has been the MP for Aylesbury since 1992.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Sajid Javid stays on as communities minister

Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

"Sajid Javid has been confirmed as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government," a statement confirmed.

Jarvid, communities secretary since July 2016, has been MP for Bromsgrove since 2010. Prior to that he was secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Justine Greening stays on as education secretary and as minister for women and equalities

Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

Statements confirmed that Greening would remain as education secretary, as well as minister for women and equalities.

Putney MP Justine Greening was appointed education secretary last year after heading up the department of international development (DFID). She nearly lost her seat during a closely fought election battle.

Greening, as MP since 2005, was the fifth MP to file into Downing Street on Sunday afternoon, part of prime minister Theresa May's reshuffle.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Liam Fox to stay on as international trade secretary

Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

"Dr Liam Fox has been confirmed as Secretary of State for International Trade," a statement confirmed.

Fox told Sky News he was "delighted" as he left Downing Street.

Fox, MP for North Somerset, was appointed secretary of state for international trade by May last year. He is the first person to hold the position.

In 2010, he was appointed Defence Secretary by then Prime Minister David Cameron – only to have to resign the position in 2011 after allegations that he had given a close friend inappropriate access to the ministry.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Liz Truss, formerly secretary of state for Justice and Lord Chancellor, has been demoted to chief secretary of the Treasury

Daniel Leal-olivas / AFP / Getty Images

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Liz Truss as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, attending Cabinet," it was confirmed in a statement.

The MP for South West Norfolk, who was touted as one of the cabinet ministers most likely to lose her post, was instead demoted.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

David Gauke promoted to work and pensions secretary

David Gauke arrives for his chat with the Prime Minister.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of David Gauke as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions," a statement from Downing Street confirmed.

The MP for South West Hertfordshire since 2005, Quake was chief secretary to the Treasury.

Posted at

Greg Clark stays on as business secretary

Greg Clark confirmed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, stays on as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He has held the position since last year.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Former work and pensions secretary Damian Green promoted to the cabinet office

Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive/PA Images

Green, formerly Work and Pensions secretary, has been promoted to the cabinet office. He will take up the position of first secretary of state and minister for the cabinet office, it has been confirmed.

In the aftermath of the decision, political journalists commented that the appointment effectively made Green – a staunch friend and ally of PM Theresa May – deputy prime minister.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Corbyn welcomes Trump's no-show in UK

Cancellation of President Trump's State Visit is welcome, especially after his attack on London's mayor & withdrawal from #ParisClimateDeal.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed the news that US president Donald Trump will not be making a state visit to the UK.

Trump told prime minister Theresa May over the phone he would not be making the trip should there be large protests about his visit, effectively indefinitely postponing the journey, the Guardian reported.

Protests and petitions had erupted earlier this year after it emerged that May had already invited the uniquely controversial leader to Britain for a traditional state visit. The US president also incurred British criticism after he attacked London mayor Sadiq Khan in a series of badly-received tweets following the London Bridge attack.

Trump also recently withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord. The move, which he said was because he represented the "people of Pittsburgh, not Paris", drew near-global criticism.

Responding to the Guardian's story, a spokesperson for the PM said there was "no change" to plans.

"We aren't going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations. The Queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the UK and there is no change to those plans," the spokeswoman for May's office told Reuters.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Labour has accused Theresa May of "squatting" in Number 10

'Labour is united and the Tories are falling apart' says shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry #Ridge

Labour has accused Theresa May of "squatting" in Number 10 Downing Street and reiterated it is ready to form a minority government of its own.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he still believes he could be prime minister, while his shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said the party would "love the opportunity to serve".

Appearing on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Thornberry went on the attack. "We've got Theresa May squatting in Downing Street, we've got a full rebellion going on in the Conservative party, we've got no idea as to what's going to be in this Queen's Speech."

You can read more about Thornberry's remarks here. –Matthew Champion

Posted at

Jeremy Corbyn said he had youth on his side, and people are loving it

BBC / Andrew Marr / screengrab

Jeremy Corbyn's triumphant appearance on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show has been celebrated on social media.

He told Marr that that he's ready for another election after no party won enough seats to command an overall majority. When Marr asked Corbyn if he is in it for the long term Corbyn replied: "Look at me, I've got youth on my side."

People loved Corbyn's confidence. And were big fans of the fact Corbyn, 68, had made a joke about a surge in support for Labour from young voters.

Jeremy Cobyn cannot stop smiling on #marr He can't help himself. And showing quite a bit of sass too! #GE2017

'I've got youth on my side.' Corbyn with the best line of the show. And doesn't he know it. #Marr

You can read more here.

–Ikran Dahir

Posted at

Irish leader concerned by prospect of Tory-DUP deal

Spoke w PM May -indicated my concern that nothing should happen to put GoodFridayAgrmt at risk & absence of nationalist voice in Westminster

The outgoing Taoiseach – or prime minister – of Ireland, Enda Kenny, says he has spoken with Theresa May to express concern at the implications of any deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the Westminster government is bound to be an impartial arbiter to any disputes in Northern Ireland.

"The Taoiseach indicated his concern that nothing should happen to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk and the challenge that this agreement will bring," a spokesperson told the Irish Independent newspaper.

According to the newspaper, both leaders voiced their "immediate concern" that an executive was established "as soon as possible", and said that "exploratory discussions" with NI parties would take place on Monday.

The scheduled meeting between the Irish minister for foreign affairs Charlie Flanagan and James Brokenshire, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, was also discussed.

"The Taoiseach stated that there should be an early meeting between the Prime Minister and his successor Leo Varadkar and wished her well in the challenges that now lie ahead," the spokesperson said.

In a statement later on Sunday afternoon, a Downing Street spokesperson said that May and Irish PM Enda Kenny had agreed to continue to work for "political stability in Northern Ireland".

– Matthew Champion

Posted at

Former Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper refuses to rule out return to shadow cabinet

Sky News

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee, has denied there will be any complacency in the party following the result of the general election, as she laid out a three-point plan for the coming weeks.

"I don't think there will be any complacency in the party," Cooper, who had opposed leader Jeremy Corbyn last year, told Sky News. She went on to reiterate her support for Corbyn, praising his campaign leadership, but drawing a line between the most recent campaign and that of the EU referendum.

Following two leadership contests, both won by Corbyn, Cooper said the Labour party had "pulled together". Pushed by presenter Sophy Ridge, Cooper declined to admit she had been wrong on Corbyn. "I think circumstances have changed," she said.

"There are three challenges for Labour right now," she said. "The first is that we have got to keep challenging Theresa May and this deeply dodgy deal with the DUP because it goes against what the election result was, Theresa May held a referendum on herself and lost it. So the idea that she can just carry on as if this election didn't happen simply through this dodgy deal, I think is not on.

"Secondly, I think we have to find a way to get some cross party consensus around a stable Brexit press and negotiation because otherwise that is going to get caught up in chaos and that will not be in the national interest.

"Thirdly, I think we are going to have to prepare for another general election because while I don't think that it's what a lot of people want, and there would certainly be a lot of tired candidates and party members of all kinds rolling their eyes at the thought, I just don't see what Theresa May is doing is sustainable. Therefore we have to be ready for whatever comes at us."

Cooper also declined to be drawn on whether she would re-join the shadow cabinet. "I don't think anyone should be bartering and bidding for positions in TV studios".

"I think the bigger point is that we all need to be pulling together to take on Theresa May and to take on the Tories on what they are doing. This DUP deal that they have done is really dodgy, it's unsustainable, but it's not just bad in terms of the politics of the House of Commons but it's also really irresponsible for the Northern Irish peace process. The idea that the British government could be taking sides having been the guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, and the subsequent peace agreement, I think is really troubling."

She said that both former PM David Cameron and May had repeatedly put party ahead of country. "They are putting party interests, in terms of cobbling together their government, ahead of the national interests and the Northern Ireland peace process. It is really troubling."

Cooper went on to say May's position was "untenable". The PM "lacked the skills" to govern a hung parliament, she said, as it required a "collegiate" method of leadership, that could promote a more open and "thoughtful" process of government. The country should not have a "Conservative cabal" , as May wanted, dictating the terms of Brexit.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

No deal yet, DUP leader Arlene Foster confirms

Niall Carson / PA Wire/PA Images

DUP leader Arlene Foster has told Sky News that the Conservatives and her party had made "good progress", but that there was no deal yet.

"I am not going to negotiate over the airways, but what I will say is that we will of course act in the national interest and do what is right for the United Kingdom as a whole, and Northern Ireland in particular," Foster said.

There had been a flurry of speculation after Number 10 appeared to confirm a "supply and demand" deal last night, only to be contradicted by DUP itself a few hours later, with No 10 subsequently having to row back the claim, saying the details were still being "finalised". On Sunday morning it emerged that Foster would travel to London on Tuesday to meet with Theresa May over the deal.

"There's been a lot of hyperbole about the DUP since Thursday, a lot of things said, a lot of people who really don't know what we stand for," Foster said. –Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee, hopes to meet May tomorrow


The chair of the influential 1922 Committee – which represents all backbench Tory MPs – has said that a meeting with prime minister Theresa May will hopefully be brought forward to tomorrow.

Graham Brady, speaking on the BBC's Daily Politics, show defended May but did say that the prime minister needed to learn lessons following her party's disastrous election results.

May could learn from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's "avuncular" campaigning style, he said, adding that while the PM could be relaxed privately, she needed to convey that to the public.

He went on to say that elements of the controversial Conservative manifesto would be removed. "There's "no point sailing ahead with items we won't get through," he said, adding that it would be a "slimmed down" Queens speech.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Corbyn expects second election later this year


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said it is "quite possible" there will be another general election later this year or early next year.

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that his party was "ready to fight another election campaign".

Presenter Marr opened the interview by noting that Corbyn, whose party massively performed above expectations in the election, seemed "very chipper".

"It's a nice Sunday morning," Corbyn said, "and what better place to spend it than with you."

Despite losing to the Tories in terms of popular vote and seats won, Corbyn has called on Theresa May to quit, saying Labour was ready to form a government, even though it is well short of an overall majority.

Asked if he lost the election by Marr, Corbyn said: "We didn't win the election, but we had an incredibly good result."

He confirmed that Labour would seek a substantial amendment to the Queen's speech, including prioritising jobs in any Brexit deal. He also suggested the so-called Great Repeal Bill, under which EU laws would be removed from UK law, was dead in the water.

Asked whether former shadow cabinet members including his former rivals for the leadership could come back into the fold, Corbyn replied: "I am the most generous person in the world."

Posted at

The Tory-DUP "coalition of chaos" has no chance, shadow chancellor John McDonnell says


John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor, has said that the proposed agreement between the Conservatives and DUP has no chance of holding together.

"I think that the Tories are in such disarray, and any agreement which the DUP is bound to be inherently unstable," he said, claiming Labour were prepared to form a minority government. "This coalition of chaos both within the Conservative party and within the DUP, I cannot see that holding together."

"I think one is almost inevitable," McDonnell told ITV's Peston on Sunday of the prospect of another election, despite acknowledging that the public had had enough of elections.

McDonnell said that remaining in the single market was "not feasible". He said Labour would not contest membership of the single market, as it would not respect the result of the EU referendum.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Fallon declines to confirm public will ever see Tory and DUP agreement


The defence secretary has avoided confirming that the public will ever see the details of a controversial potential agreement with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Michael Fallon, speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr show, also attempted to clarify Downing Street's position following confusion overnight on whether an agreement with the DUP had been agreed. It was eventually confirmed that the two parties were still in talks, and that an agreement had not been confirmed.

"This is not a coalition. This is what is called a confidence and supply agreement," he said of the proposal.

"We are working on our lines of proposals," he said. "It would be very very surprising that something as important and complex as this was stitched together in a day. "You will see the proposal," Fallon said, but declined to confirm that the agreement between the Tories and the DUP would be published.

Challenged on the DUP's toxic record on LGBT and women's rights, he said "we do not share their views, and we are not changing our views".

#Marr: "Are you repulsed by gay people?" Fallon: "It doesn't mean we agree with all of [the DUP's] views."

Fallon was also questioned on Theresa May's lacklustre campaign. "The prime minister travelled thousands of miles, and took far more questions from the public than Jeremy Corbyn did," he said.

Pushed by Marr that May had not answered the questions, Fallon responded: "Well, she tried to."

He went on to state that the party was behind her, and claimed Conservative MPs would "rally round her and give her support".

"She won the biggest share of the vote since 1987. She did not achieve what we wanted which was a bigger majority," but he said it was her "responsibility" to form a government and "get on and make the best of it."

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Osborne: May is a "dead woman walking"

"Theresa May is a dead woman walking" says @George_Osborne #marr

Former chancellor and Tory MP George Osborne says it's only a matter of time before Theresa May is forced to step down as prime minister.

"Oh yeah Theresa May is a dead woman walking, it's just how long she's going to remain on death row," the Evening Standard editor told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

Osborne, who stepped down as an MP at the snap election in order to focus on his other jobs, said "we could easily get to the middle of next week and it all collapses for her".

Osborne was sacked by May last year, and was asked by Marr what he was told at the time. "She said I needed to get to know my party better," he said, shrugging.

–Matthew Champion

Posted at

Johnson quashes suggestions of a leadership battle

Mail on Sunday tripe - I am backing Theresa may. Let's get on with the job

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has rubbished suggestions he could challenge Theresa May for the Conservative party leadership.

In a tweet posted late last night, Johnson, who spectacularly crashed out of the last Conservative party leadership battle in 2016, said a story in the Mail on Sunday was "tripe" and that he was backing the embattled Tory leader.

A story published last night by the Mail on Sunday cited close allies of the foreign secretary, who claimed it was "go-go-go" for Johnson's leadership bid.

However, the Sunday Times reports that while Johnson has decided to hold off on a leadership battle for now, as many as five cabinet ministers have urged him to oust May. The paper claims his allies believe there will be a leadership battle before the year's end.

Here are some frontpages, all of which lead off May's crisis of leadership.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

DUP contradict Downing Street on whether a deal has been reached

Paul Faith / AFP / Getty Images

Confusion reigned in the early hours of Sunday morning after the DUP issued a statement which appeared to contradict Number 10's claim, issued on Saturday night, that a "confidence and supply" deal had been agreed.

An initial statement issued by Number 10 said: "We can confirm that the Democratic Unionist Party have agreed to the principles of an outline agreement to support the Conservative government on a confidence and supply basis when Parliament returns next week."

However, the DUP later issued a statement at midnight saying that discussions would "continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement", which was followed by a second Number 10 statement which said: "As and when details are finalised both parties will put them forward."

The party also retweeted this tweet by a Sky News journalist.

BREAK: DUP has NOT yet reached any agreement with the Tories. Sky sources: Downing Street issued the wrong statement in error.

This was followed by a second statement from Number 10, which said: "As and when details are finalised both parties will put them forward."

– Alan White

Posted at

Here's What The DUP Might Demand From The Tories To Keep Them In Power

Paul Faith / AFP / Getty Images

Huge questions remain as to what concessions the Tories will have to make to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), after Downing Street announced that the two parties had agreed in principle a "confidence and supply" deal that will allow Theresa May to stay in power.

However, the party produced a document in advance of the 2015 general election stipulating their demands from a Conservative party in the event of a hung parliament then.

Rather than focusing on social issues such as abortion or LGBT rights, the party's 2015 coalition wish list focused on greater funding for Northern Ireland, as well as a number of symbolic steps for Britain to recognise that Northern Ireland is also part of the UK.

Sam McBride, Political Editor of the Northern Irish newspaper The Newsletter, told Buzzfeed News: "As shrewd negotiators, the DUP have been vague about their precise demands. But the party's 2015 template is the starting point.

"It is overwhelmingly, though not exclusively, financial - a mixture of pork barrel politics and fiscal populism which sits somewhere between the Labour and Conservative economic positions.

"The focus on the DUP's position on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage is unsurprising, but misses the point. That is almost certainly not going to feature in their demands."

Read more here.

– Siobhan Fenton

Posted at

DUP agrees to principles of "confidence and supply" deal with the Tories

Stringer . / Reuters

DUP leader Arlene Foster

Downing Street says the DUP has agreed to the principles of a proposal to back the Tories on a "confidence and supply basis".

The deal would not be a formal coalition agreement – it would instead see the party's 10 MPs support the Tories on crucial votes in parliament. "Supply" refers to a budget or any other bills involving the raising of money by the government, and "confidence" refers to support on votes of no confidence. It's not yet clear which parts of the DUP manifesto will be supported by the Conservatives in return.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "We can confirm that the Democratic Unionist Party have agreed to the principles of an outline agreement to support the Conservative government on a confidence and supply basis when Parliament returns next week.

"We welcome this commitment, which can provide the stability and certainty the whole country requires as we embark on Brexit and beyond."

The last time such a deal was struck was between 1977 and 1979, when the Labour Party stayed in power thanks to a confidence and supply agreement with the Liberal Party.

– Alan White

Posted at

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill’s resignations have been welcomed in some quarters

Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Political insiders have reacted positively to the news that Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Theresa May's closest advisers, have resigned. Hill and Timothy received the brunt of the blame for the Conservatives losing seats in the snap general election and the prime minister has been under pressure to sack them since Friday.

Civil servants who had been frustrated by Hill and Timothy's controlling influence during May's time at Number 10 reacted gleefully to the news. Those working in communications were especially frustrated at the number of press releases from all departments, even those with ministerial approval, that had to be seen by the pair.

One described the pair as "not so much a bottleneck but a hydroelectric dam, whose sole purpose was to generate power for themselves".

Conservative MP Nigel Evans told BuzzFeed News he was delighted Timothy and Hill had quit Downing Street and described the Conservative manifesto, partly written by Timothy, as "poisonous".

"It was absolutely essential that her advisers went," he said, criticising the way Theresa May ran the government.

"When they're replaced there must a change of style of governance. No advisers should have more power than the cabinet ministers around them. The fact is that now we're going to be working with the DUP – they won't be able to just announce things that have somehow or other emerged from a dark room in Number 10. It should go through a proper process.

"That's why we ended up with a manifesto that was poisonous from beginning to end."

–Jim Waterson and Alan White

Posted at

Chief whip Gavin Williamson in Northern Ireland for talks with DUP

Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive/PA Images

Gavin Williamson, the chief whip of the House of Commons and the Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, is believed to have travelled to Belfast for talks with the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 MPs could allow May to continue to govern.

Williamson will meet DUP MPs to discuss "how best they can provide support" to May's government, the Press Association reported.

Ministers reportedly told ITV political editor Robert Peston that the DUP could prove vital to the Tories if they wish to retain power.

"Don't underestimate the importance of doing the DUP deal," Peston said one of May's colleagues had told him. "Without it, I don't see how we govern with any confidence."

Posted at

Theresa May's closest advisers, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, have resigned

Rick Findler / PA Wire/PA Images

"I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme," Nick Timothy, one of Theresa May's closest advisers, has written in a resignation announcement on ConservativeHome.

His colleague Fiona Hill has also opted to stand down from her position at Downing Street, a Conservative spokesperson told the BBC.

The pair worked with May for years, including when she was in the Home Office, and personally played a substantial role in shaping her public persona and policy platform.

May had been under considerable pressure from Tory MPs to sack them after they were largely considered responsible for the catastrophic losses suffered by the party in Thursday's snap election.

In a damning article for The Times on Saturday, Downing Street's former head of communications Katy Perrior called campaign ideas that had been proposed by Hill "batshit crazy".

Read more about Hill and Timothy's resignation here.

–Laura Silver

Posted at

Ruth Davidson's Scottish Tory MPs will be prepared to defy Theresa May

Jane Barlow / PA Wire/PA Images

Ruth Davidson's new Scottish Conservative MPs will effectively act as a party within a party that will be willing to defy Theresa May in favour of their leader in Scotland, sources close to Davidson have told BuzzFeed News.

Davidson – whose 12 gains from the SNP in Scotland were practically the only success stories for the Conservatives at a humbling election on Thursday night – has hinted she'll use her new clout with May to pursue softer Brexit terms.

The Scottish Tory leader also said on Friday evening in an interview with BBC Scotland that she had sought reassurance from the prime minister that LGBT rights will be protected amid serious concerns over homophobia in the DUP.

But sources close to the Scottish Tory leader believe this is only the beginning of Davidson asserting herself on the UK stage, and that May must acknowledge that Davidson's group is bigger than the 10 DUP MPs the prime minister hopes to rely on to cling to power.

Asked if the allegiance of the 13 Scottish Conservative MPs will ultimately lie with Davidson over May, a senior party source who works closely with the leader told BuzzFeed News: "The simple answer to your question is 'yes'.

"Ruth knows she holds 13 cards and can use those to exert influence over the direction of Westminster policies. Where there is a difference of view, I fully expect the 13 to follow Ruth's line – their loyalty will be to her in the first place."

Read more about how Scottish Tories will be prepared to defy May here.

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Northern Ireland politicians say Theresa May's dependence on the DUP could damage the peace process

Charles Mcquillan / Getty Images

Theresa May's decision to seek an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her government risks causing lasting damage to the Northern Irish peace process, politicians have warned.

After failing to secure enough votes to command a majority at Westminster, May has announced she will attempt to run a minority government through support from the controversial party’s 10 MPs.

But Northern Irish politicians say they fear that means Conservatives will no longer be seen as impartial facilitators of the Northern Ireland peace process, endangering ongoing talks to try reach a power-sharing deal in the region.

Northern Ireland is currently without a government as power-sharing between nationalists and unionists collapsed in January. The parties have been in intensive negotiations reach an agreement to return to power-sharing. The talks were paused during the general election campaign but are due to resume on Monday.

Confirming her party will attend talks on Monday, Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill said the DUP-Conservative relationship meant nationalists would turn away from the British government and instead look to the Republic of Ireland for impartial support in peace talks.

Read more on how Northern Irish politicians believe May's dependence on the DUP could damage the peace process here.

–Siobhan Fenton

Posted at

Number 10 source: May would not be able to operate without her closest advisers

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

MPs and ministers are briefing that they want May to sack her joint chiefs of staff over the general election result.

But a Number 10 insider told BuzzFeed News that May’s dilemma will be that she is dependent on Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. “She should ditch them, but they are her,” the insider said.

Simply put: It is unclear how May would operate without them.

The limitations in the way the triumvirate functions were exposed by the mishandled manifesto launch, when a document that was meant to set out May’s grand vision for repositioning the Conservatives was overshadowed by a dispute over the so-called dementia tax.

Timothy was widely blamed for insisting that the policy was included at the last minute, while reports suggested Hill had been against it. But one insider said Timothy wasn’t solely to blame. “May made the call,” a source told BuzzFeed News at the time. “It’s on her.”

Westminster insiders also point the finger at flaws in how the May-Timothy-Hill triumvirate operates. Nothing goes to the prime minister without being filtered by her aides first, paralysing the government machine and isolating very senior people, the insiders said, raising questions over how such a set-up can handle something so complex as Brexit, which requires cross-government effort.

–Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

A Tory MP has suggested that a debate over reducing abortion limits could be part of talks with the DUP

Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Reducing the time period in which a woman can access abortion in the UK could be on the agenda in talks between Theresa May and the Democratic Unionist Party, who are anti-abortion, the former Northern Ireland secretary, and current Conservative MP, Owen Paterson has suggested.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday morning, he said he did not believe major social issues would drive the agenda in the next parliament, saying that differences in LGBT and abortion rights in Northern Ireland were matters for its devolved government.

But he didn't rule out the possibility of abortion rights in the rest of the UK being at least up for debate.

"I don't see many major social issues coming up in the next parliament," Paterson said.

"You might get a debate I suppose on further reduction of abortion times as medical science advances.

"But the stuff you mention like gay rights and all that, which you're probably referring to, that is all devolved.

"It's not only a free vote issue, most of this, but it's nearly all devolved and that's down to the politicians in Northern Ireland to resolve."

Abortion, which is still not technically legal in the UK, can be permitted in pregnancies up to 24 weeks with the permission of two doctors. Prior to the election being called, Labour MP Diana Johnson, who retained her seat in Hull North, had tabled a bill to decriminalise abortion entirely.

Reacting to Paterson's comments, Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: "Oh how the Tories crowed about their woman leader, the test was always – will she be good for women? Just one woman she cares about."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has expressed concern about reversals of LGBT rights in light of the fact that the DUP has voted to block same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland five times in the last five years. In a phone call with the prime minister last night she sought assurances on LGBT rights given and possible deal with the DUP.

In Northern Ireland, abortion rights campaigners have said they are extremely worried about what increased influence for the DUP could mean for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal in almost all circumstances.

"They don't agree with abortion under any circumstances, so they've nailed their colours to the mast in terms of how they feel about women being able to access reproductive healthcare here," a spokesperson for campaign group Alliance for Choice told BuzzFeed News when May announced talks with the DUP on Friday.

–Laura Silver

Posted at

Downing Street’s former director of communications has accused May’s closest advisers of pushing “batshit crazy ideas”.

Ben Cawthra / LNP

Katie Perrior, who was director of communications at Downing Street from July 2016, when Theresa May took office, to April this year, when May called a snap election, has blamed the prime minister’s “toxic” chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, for the catastrophic result for the Conservatives.

In a candid article for The Times, Perrior accused the pair of running a militant operation, ultimately to the detriment of the general election campaign.

“I have written before about a whiff of arrogance emanating from No 10 It turns out the public couldn’t just detect a whiff, the place bloody well stank,” Perrior said.

She accused Hill in particular of having a bullying presence in Downing Street meetings, which on all but one occasion, the prime minister complied with.

“During my painful ten months at No 10, I saw the prime minister stand up to Fiona Hill, joint chief of staff, only a handful of times,” Perrior continued. “Normally we would all sit there while Fiona would raise some batshit crazy idea and not say a word.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday morning, Perrior said she felt sorry for May losing her majority, but questioned why she had not surrounded herself with a more experienced team.

“I do want to say Mrs May has some real qualities and she’s a good person,” Perrior said. “I feel really bad for her today because, yes, she takes responsibility for this as she will because she has a real sense of public service and duty that runs right through her.

“But at the same time I do feel quite sorry for her personally because it’s a tough environment."

In The Times, she blamed Hill and Timothy for not letting what she believed to be May’s true character shine through into the public sphere.

“If you want to brag that your candidate is a bloody difficult woman, then she has to show some empathy to remind people she is human after all,” Perrior wrote.

“Her speech outside No 10 yesterday ignored the fact that millions of people had stuck two fingers up to her and her party. Where was the empathy? Where was the emotional intelligence to say, ‘I hear you. I get it. We were not offering enough of what you wanted and I take the responsibility for that’? Instead, we got more of the same.”

As May’s campaign appeared to unravel over the final days of the general election, other from inside Downing Street had questioned the viability of Hill and Timothy’s future at the helm of May’s team.

“When power and all decision-making is centred in the hands of too few, and very senior people [in the Cabinet Office and Downing Street] are isolated, the whole government machine becomes paralysed,” a senior source told BuzzFeed News last week.

–Laura Silver

Posted at

Labour has taken Kensington for the first time ever

After three recounts, Labour has taken Kensington for the first time in its history. Emma Dent Coad got 16,333 votes for the party with an 11% swing, beating the Tories by just 20 votes.

"You did it! Brilliant brave Kensington voters," the an update on the official Twitter account for the local party read, posted shortly after the result was declared.

ITV political editor Robert Peston tweeted that Labour taking Kensington was a "measure of Tory humiliation," noting that the average house price in the area is £1.4 million.

The result, the final seat to be counted, gives the Conservatives a total of 318 seats and Labour 262.

–Alan White

Posted at

Students might just have clinched it for Labour in the Tories' top target seat


City of Chester was the Conservatives' No. 1 target in the country, with Labour MP Chris Matheson defending an ultra-slim majority of just 93 votes.

Rather than losing the seat, he increased his majority from just 93 votes to a very comfortable 9,176 – with Chester going from marginal to one of the safer Labour seats in the area.

Last month he told BuzzFeed News that the city's 15,000 students could be key come polling day – and it looks like he was right. Read more here.

–Hannah Al-Othman

Posted at

Trump supporters have discovered the DUP and it’s just the absolute worst.

Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency / Getty

Theresa May, the Conservative prime minister who once said Tories should stop being the "nasty party", announced on Friday that she plans to govern by working with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party following her failure to win a majority in the UK election.

May's statement sparked fury, as the DUP is known for an aggressively socially conservative agenda and has fiercely opposed LGBT rights, including blocking votes on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, and been stringently anti-abortion – even in the case of rape. Some members have also supported creationism and denied climate change.

News of a possible coalition between DUP and the Conservatives lit up 4chan's /pol/ messageboard Friday morning.

Read more about how Trump supporters are getting behind May and the DUP here.

–Ryan Broderick and James Ball

Posted at

Here's what happened the last time Britain had minority governments

Douglas Miller / Getty Images

James Callaghan (right) with trade union leaders.

The Tory government called a snap election with just a few weeks' notice. It was a time of national crisis; the government had a small majority, and wanted to give itself room to manoeuvre. Its campaign warned that the left-wing Labour opposition would take money from voters' pockets. But the gamble backfired badly – the Conservative vote slumped, their majority vanished and Labour were resurgent.

But this was not June 2017, it was February 1974. The Tory leader was Edward Heath, and his Labour opponent Harold Wilson.

Four decades before Theresa May threw away her majority in an unnecessary election, Britain went through a tumultuous few years of minority government, political uncertainty, and endless horsetrading over votes to keep the country running. The parallels between that period and the new political reality of 2017 offer a stark illustration of the difficulties of surviving as a government that can't control the House of Commons.

At the February 1974 election, Wilson's Labour became the largest party, although he lacked the seats to form a majority even in coalition with the Liberals. Labour tried to govern as a minority, but to no one's surprise it couldn't get anything very much done. A second election was soon called, in October that year, from which Labour scraped a majority of just three seats.

Read more about the parallels between 1974 and 2017 here.

–Tom Chivers

Posted at

Theresa May gambled on getting UKIP's votes – here's how she failed

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Theresa May's electoral gambit was a simple one, there for everyone to see in her campaign speeches and the Conservative party's Facebook adverts: The prime minister wanted to make 2017 the Brexit election, sell herself as the woman to do it, and net as many of the 3.8 million people who voted UKIP in 2015 as possible.

On paper, this looked like a winning strategy. UKIP's voters – compared to the UK average – are older, more socially conservative, and less educated. They overwhelmingly support Brexit, want more controls on immigration, and are concerned about national security.

That was the campaign the Conservatives ran: May said a victory would "strengthen my hand" in Brexit negotiations, would avoid a "coalition of chaos" and any chance of another EU referendum, and would protect national security.

On paper, it should have been the perfect way to capture a group of voters naturally wary of Jeremy Corbyn. In practice, it was a dismal failure, analysis by BuzzFeed News reveals.

BuzzFeed News gathered data on the voting totals in each of the 100 seats in which UKIP performed best in 2015. Of the 100, one was won by UKIP, 70 by the Tories, and 29 by Labour (many of which appeared on the Conservatives' target list in 2017, including Mansfield, Dudley North, and Batley and Spen).

Read more about May's UKIP gamble here.

–Aisha Gani and James Ball

Posted at

Theresa May has made no changes to the top jobs in her cabinet.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images

On Friday evening, 10 Downing Street confirmed there are currently no changes to the Tory front bench. Philip Hammond remains as chancellor, despite weeks of speculation that he would be replaced. Reports said Hammond had clashed with Nick Timothy, May's co-chief of staff and senior policy adviser, and the chancellor played a surprisingly low-key role in the election campaign even when the economy was being debated.

Amber Rudd remains as home secretary, having clung on to her seat in Hastings and Rye by just 346 votes after a recount. Rudd appeared more frequently in the campaign than any other member of cabinet, including standing in for May in one of the TV leaders debates, and was tipped as a potential chancellor.

Boris Johnson stays as foreign secretary, and David Davis has kept his position as the chief Brexit minister, leading the negotiations with the European Union that are set to begin in 10 days.

Michael Fallon has been reappointed defence secretary.

No other appointments will be made today, Downing Street said.

Read more about May's weakness following the disastrous result here.

–Alex Spence

Posted at

May is still brazenly refusing to answer questions despite her devastating election result.

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

For weeks on the campaign trail, Theresa May refused to give straight answers and instead repeated the same collection of soundbites.

And today, after a devastating election result, with anger growing in the Conservative ranks and her future as party leader in doubt, May was still brazenly refusing to answer questions.

Hours after an astonishing statement outside Downing Street in which May announced she was forming a new government without any acknowledgment of what had just happened, the prime minister made another statement, for TV cameras inside Number 10.

This time she showed some contrition for the MPs and ministers who had lost their seats because of her ill-judged decision to call an early election, saying: "I felt that they did not deserve to lose their seats."

But pressed on whether she was remorseful, whether she'd considered resigning, whether she will now be weakened in the Brexit talks, and whether she will sack her aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill (who are blamed by many in the party for the terrible campaign), May stuck to scripted answers.

Now, instead of "strong and stable leadership", May talks of providing "certainty" and "forming a government in the national interest".

–Alex Spence

Posted at

Theresa May says she is "sorry" to Conservative candidates who lost seats last night

The prime minister has issued an apology to her Conservative colleagues who lost their seats in Thursday's general election.

"Of course as I said many times during the campaign, I had wanted to achieve a larger majority but that was not the result that we secured," Theresa May told the BBC in a statement on Friday afternoon.

"I am sorry for all those candidates and hardworking party workers who weren't successful, but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs and ministers who'd contributed so much to our country, and who lost their seats and didn't deserve to lose their seats."

PM sorry for Tory candidates who lost their seats & says she's forming a government in the national interest…

Despite calls for May to resign after she spectacularly misjudged the outcome of the snap general election, she remained determined to stay in her position and attempt to repair any damage to the Conservative party.

"As I reflect on the results, I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward," she said.

"As more results started to come through it became clear that we were the party that had won most seats and most votes, and I felt it was incumbent on us at a critical time in our country to form a government in the national interest and that is what I am doing."

–Laura Silver

Posted at

Northern Irish abortion rights campaigners say DUP coalition is a setback for reforming reproductive rights

Paul Faith / AFP / Getty Images

Abortion rights campaigners in Northern Ireland are worried that any post-election deal between the Conservatives and the stringently anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party could make their fight to legalise the procedure even harder.

The legislation that has allowed women in the rest of the UK to access abortion since 1967 was never extended to Northern Ireland and abortion remains illegal in almost all circumstances.

Every year thousands of women from Northern Ireland travel to Britain for the procedure, but they are not able to access it via the NHS, despite being UK taxpayers. Groups such as Alliance for Choice have long lobbied for a change in the law to allow women in Northern Ireland free, safe, and legal access to abortion.

The DUP is set to hold talks with the Tories ahead of a possible deal that would see the party's 10 MPs prop up Theresa May's minority government after the prime minister's decision to call a snap election massively backfired. The election results left the Tories as the largest party but no longer with an overall majority, leaving May with little option but to seek the DUP's help.

A spokesperson for Alliance for Choice told BuzzFeed News that any increased DUP influence in Westminster was a serious setback for their cause.

"We think it's going to be extremely difficult to extend the 1967 Abortion Act now," the spokesperson said.

Alliance for Choice's spokesperson also pointed out strong links between the DUP and the anti-abortion group Precious Life, which regularly stages protests in Belfast. "They don't agree with abortion under any circumstances, so they've nailed their colours to the mast in terms of how they feel about women being able to access reproductive healthcare here," they said.

Read more about Northern Irish abortion rights campaigners' concerns over the latest developments here.

–Laura Silver

Posted at

The anti-LGBT past and present of the party the Conservatives might share power with

Charles Mcquillan / Getty Images

The prospect of the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party working together to form a government has sparked widespread fury among commentators, celebrities, and social media users who have accused the DUP of homophobia.

Bestselling author Juno Dawson, who came out as transgender in 2015, tweeted: "May cozying up with the DUP shows how little she cares for LGBTQ rights. Utterly disgusting."

Stonewall, Britain's largest LGBT charity, said: "We share the concerns of countless LGBT people, and our friends, of all political persuasions who are deeply anxious about the potential Democratic Unionist Party involvement in the new government. The DUP have a poor record on LGBT rights."

While the Conservative party has sought to overturn the Tories' previous anti-gay record, the DUP has made no such attempt at modernisation.

Instead, Northern Ireland's largest political party has staunchly and consistently opposed legal rights for LGBT people and spoken out against homosexuality for decades. It has also remained silent against the oppression of LGBT people.

DUP leader Arlene Foster was the only leader of a ruling British political party not to issue a statement in response to the mass shooting at an LGBT club in Orlando in 2016. When approached to do so by BuzzFeed News, following what was the largest single mass murder of LGBT people in American history, no response was given.

Last year, the DUP also prevented a public consultation taking place on same-sex marriage and published in its manifesto a commitment to continue opposing equal marriage. The year before, its MLAs blocked a vote on same-sex marriage in the Northern Ireland assembly. It was the fifth time DUP politicians had opposed a vote that would have allowed gay people to get married.

In the same year, the party opposed changes to the lifelong ban on gay men giving blood. This came shortly after it attempted to introduce a private member's bill that would enable religious people to discriminate against LGBT people through a "conscience clause" in equality legislation.

You can read more about the history of the DUP, and its current policies, here. –Patrick Strudwick

Posted at

Labour voters are horrified by the Conservatives' potential new partners

Labour voters in the Midlands told BuzzFeed News they were upset and bemused to learn that a Conservative-led government might be propped up by the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party.

Many had no idea what the DUP was – and were horrified when they found out.

Benjamin Ryan, 33, an electrician from Stoke who voted Labour, quipped: "I think the Conservatives have invented a party so they can carry on."

He added: "I had to look them up on Google and I'm very worried now I know what they are. They aren't good on female rights and gay rights. I don't want them running the country with the other idiots that are already there."

EMily Dugan / BuzzFeed News / Benjamin Ryan

Caleb Brown, 18, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, voted for the first time on Thursday and chose Labour. The Labour MP Paul Farrelly kept his seat here by just 30 votes. Brown said: "I'm glad that we've got a Labour MP for us but the fact that it's not for the whole country is upsetting."

He too had not heard of the DUP before, and said: "I'm not an expert on politics but I can see how something like that will bring the country down. I thought when the Tories and Lib Dems had a coalition that was bad enough."

Caleb Brown / Credit: Emily Dugan / BuzzFeed News

Some were regretting the instability a Labour vote had caused. Tracey Wood, 36, from Newcastle, said: “I voted Labour but I wish I’d changed my mind now. Then we’d have a stronger government. I’m worried things won’t be stable now.”

Romilly Brown, 49, was debating the result with her mum Yvonne Heath, 73. They live in Longton in Stoke South, where the Conservatives took the seat from Labour.

Brown, who works in a call centre, said: “I voted Labour. I think there’s a lot to worry about with the Conservatives working with the DUP. British people now are getting so racist against Muslims. The amount of racist stuff I see on Facebook is horrendous. I’ve actually deleted it because I’m sick of it.

“I just think it’s bad enough now with this 'send them back' stuff. With the DUP propping up the Conservatives these people have got a voice now”

Her mother, Heath, is a retired teacher who normally votes Labour but voted Conservative this time. “I voted against Labour," she said. "I think we’ve got a messy time ahead but my biggest worry was Jeremy Corbyn in, I can’t stand the man.”

She said she was unbothered by the DUP working with government. “If you think about the amount of power the Lib Dems had with the Conservatives, I don’t think there’s much to worry about.”

–Emily Dugan

Posted at

DUP confirms it is "entering negotiations" with Conservative party

Sky News screengrab

The leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has confirmed that the party will be entering into negotiations with the Conservatives.

Prime minister Theresa May said earlier today outside Number 10 that she would work with the DUP to form a government.

"We will enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nations at this time," DUP leader Arlene Foster told reporters at a very brief press conference in Belfast.

She said "the DUP will always strive for the best deal for Northern Ireland and its people" and that it was also important to bring stability to the UK as a whole during this difficult period. Foster also called the union her party's "guiding star".

Details around any potential deal remain scarce; however, outrage over the prospect of the right-wing DUP being part of the government is already growing in England and among Labour strongholds.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

"We will enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability," says DUP l…

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

What you need to know about the Northern Irish party that may prop up a Conservative government

DUP leader Arlene Foster /Niall Carson / PA Wire/PA Images / Via PA

In a shocking turn of events, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has just taken on a crucial and unexpected role in UK politics.

Arlene Foster, who's been party leader since 2015 and also served as first minister of Northern Ireland for a year until January, appears to have agreed to help Theresa May form a minority Conservative government.

But where do these "friends and allies" of the Tories stand on key issues, and what possible concessions will May's party make in order to govern?


The DUP campaigned for Leave, but it does not support a so-called "hard Brexit". Instead, the party would push for a "soft" exit from the European Union that would take into account "our shared history and geography with the Republic of Ireland", with no hard border.


The DUP is against abortion, with many supporters regarding it as murder. LGBT rights

The DUP has staunchly and consistently opposed equal rights for LGBT people and spoken out against homosexuality for decades.

Climate change and science

There was no mention of the environment or climate change in the party's manifesto for this election, and the party once controversially appointed a climate change sceptic as environment minister in 2009.

Some DUP politicians also reject the concept of evolution and believe in creationism, the claim that God created the world in seven days, and that creationism should be taught in schools.

You can read more about the DUP and its policies here.

–Sara Spary and Patrick Strudwick

Posted at

Ruth Davidson hints at new clout, post Scottish Conservative gains

Getty images

The Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has given her first indication that she'll be willing to use her new clout in UK politics to pressure Theresa May into pursuing a softer version of Brexit.

Speaking at an event in Edinburgh on the afternoon after it became clear her party had gained 12 seats from the SNP, effectively allowing May to remain prime minister, Davidson said the UK must seek an "open Brexit" that prioritises economic growth above everything else.

After lauding her own result in Scotland, Davidson said the Conservative result in the rest of the UK had "fallen short of expectations" and conceded that Jeremy Corbyn's message had "struck a chord" with UK voters.

Speaking only shortly after May was criticised for a speech in Downing Street that made little mention of the scale of Conservative disappointment, Davidson said the party must pay attention to why it had not met expectations.

"It is incumbent on us to listen to other parties in parliament, and people outside it, about the best way forward," said Davidson. "It is the policy of both the Conservative party and the UK Labour party to respect the Brexit referendum result.

"That means we are leaving the leaving the European Union. We are leaving the Common Fisheries Policy. At the same time we must in my view seek to deliver an open Brexit, not a closed one, which puts our country's economic growth first."

Davidson was a prominent campaigner for the Remain side in last year's EU referendum, and her speech was a strong indication she will use her new power over May to lessen the severity of the Brexit plan.

The Scottish Conservative leader also turned her attention to domestic matters in Scotland and urged the leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon to scrap her plans for a second independence referendum after Sturgeon's party lost 21 seats on Thursday night.

Davidson said the wasn't expecting the SNP to "give up on independence", saying believing in Scottish independence was a "perfectly honourable position to take", but did demand an end to plans for another referendum.

"Simply put, Scotland has had its fill," she said. "Nobody will condemn the first minister if she now decides to reset her course. This is her opportunity to do so – and I urge her to take it immediately.

"She must take it off the table."

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Labour MPs congratulate leader Jeremy Corbyn

Congratulations to @jeremycorbyn for his inspired campaign. He showed people a vision of a fairer society and millions voted for change.

Labour MPs have begun congratulating leader Jeremy Corbyn after his party defied pollsters and political pundits to take 29 seats in the general election.

Tottenham MP David Lammy, who was returned to his seat with a 35,000-vote majority, congratulated Corbyn and said that "despite being underestimated and the underdog he has run one of the very best campaigns of all time".

MP Harriet Harman, who was returned to her Camberwell and Peckham seat, admitted she had overestimated Theresa May and underestimated Corbyn as she congratulated her party's leader.

Diane Abbott, who was returned with a massive 35,000-vote majority, said during her victory speech that the party's success had proved all of their detractors wrong.

"They said if we fought this general election under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn we would be annihilated," she said. "But I am proud to say even at this point we have seen how the British people, of all ages, of all classes, of all creeds, and all colours, have rallied to a positive message and rallied to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn."

"But I am proud to say even at this point we have seen how the British people, of all ages, of all classes, of all creeds, and all colours, have rallied to a positive message and rallied to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn."

Angela Eagle, who once challenged Corbyn for the leadership of the party, praised him and told the BBC that Corbyn's "authenticity and honesty" during the campaign had successfully resonated with the voters.

Jack Straw, former foreign secretary and once a staunch critic of the Labour leader, said he was "delighted" with Jeremy Corbyn's campaign performance.

Former Labour home secretary David Blunkett told ITV that Corbyn had had an "extremely effective anti-austerity" campaign. The Labour leader was "mobilising young people" to vote who have "clearly turned out in much greater numbers than previously". The former MP continued that he hoped the Labour party would enjoy a period of stability after the election.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

"There is no time to lose" for Brexit negotiations, says Donald Tusk as he congratulates May

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

The president of the European Commission congratulated Theresa May shortly after she announced she would form the next British government – but warned that there was "no time to lose" for Brexit negotiations.

Donald Tusk, writing in a letter, said the UK and the European Union now faced a "shared responsibility and urgent task" to begin negotiations from the EU "in the best possible spirit, securing the least disruptive outcome for our citizens, businesses and countries after March 2019".

He continued: "The timeframe set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose. I am fully committed to maintaining regular and close contact at our level to facilitate the work of our negotiators."

Tusk said that he was looking forward to welcoming May to the European Council later this month, where leaders would discuss counterterrorism, security and defence, trade, and the Paris Agreement.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

The new parliament has more black, Asian, and women MPs than ever before

The country has elected one of the most diverse selection of MPs ever.

There are now more black or minority ethnic (BME) MPs, women MPs, self-declared disabled MPs and openly LGBT MPs than ever before, reports suggest, prompting campaigners to cheer the fact that "representation underpins our democracy".

Overall there are 10 newly elected MPs from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, bringing the overall figure from 41 BME MPs to 51 – a record high.

Simon Woolley, co-founder and director of Operation Black Vote, told BuzzFeed News it has been a fantastic election in terms of race equality. "I think that is a massive step forward in the right direction," he said.

There are also more women MPs than ever before, with 207 elected at the time of writing, far more than the 191 in the last parliament.

You can read a full breakdown of the new members of parliament here.

–Fiona Rutherford & Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Theresa May has been granted permission by the Queen to form a new government


Theresa May, speaking outside Number 10, confirmed she would stay on as prime minister, and form a government with "help" from the Democratic Unionist Party.

"I have just been to see the Queen, and now I will form a government — government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country," May said, after a 20 minute audience with the Queen in Buckingham Palace.

"We will continue to work with our friends and allies," May said, referring to the Ireland's DUP.

The announcement came only seven weeks after she announced the snap election, and followed a tumultuous night where the Conservatives failed to gain a needed majority and instead lost 12 seats across the country.

"We will fulfill the promise of Brexit together," May also said.

Here's the full text of her statement:

I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen, and I will now form a government – a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country. This Government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union. It will work to keep our nation safe and secure by delivering the change that I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London – cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it. And giving the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe. The Government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do, so that we fulfill the promise of Brexit together and - over the next five years - build a country in which no one and no community is left behind. A country in which prosperity and opportunity are shared right across this United Kingdom. What the country needs more than ever is certainty, and having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election, it is clear that only the Conservative & Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons. As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular. Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years, and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom. This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country – securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long term prosperity That's what people voted for last June. That's what we will deliver. Now let's get to work.

You can read more about her speech and intentions here. –Aisha Gani & Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

PM Theresa May departs Downing Street to seek permission from the Queen to form a new government


Theresa May has left Downing Street to seek permission from the Queen to form a new government.

It follows a disastrous night for the prime minister, who called a snap election just a month and a half ago on 18 April. Many had expected her Conservatives to take a majority in the House of Commons after early campaign polls showed they had a clear lead, but the party ultimately failed to do so.

May has arrived at Buckingham Palace, and will now be speaking to the Queen to ask permission to form a government.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Nicola Sturgeon attacks PM Theresa May and says she has "lost all authority and credibility"

Nicola Sturgeon has admitted the case for a second referendum on independence may have been weakened after a torrid night for the SNP saw the party lose 21 seats across Scotland.

However, speaking at her official residence of Bute House in Edinburgh, the first minister stopped short of taking another referendum off the table saying she needed to "pause and consider" the factors behind SNP losses.

Asked by journalists whether 60% of the vote going to pro-UK parties in Scotland weakened her case for independence, Sturgeon replied: "I think it's important, I know this is frustrating for journalists and I understand that, but I do think it's important for politicians, in the immediate wake of an election, to take a pause and consider.

"What you've said to me may well be an interpretation with some degree of force behind it. Equally I suspect there were independence supporters among those who voted for Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. Rushing to overly simplistic judgments is not the right thing to do."

The first minister said she would say more on whether last night's losses leave the case for an independence referendum "in the coming days" and insisted she would make a decision "in the interests of all Scotland".

Sturgeon appeared to blame the SNP losses on a number of factors on top of the party agitating for a second independence referendum, saying there was an unexpected Jeremy Corbyn surge in Scotland in the final weeks of the campaign and the SNP was victim of tactical voting in parts of the country.

Sturgeon also warned Theresa May, who the first minister said had lost "all authority and credibility", that the SNP is "ready to play our part" in any possible alliance which would see the Conservatives removed from government.

"We will work with others, if it is at all possible, to keep the Tories out of government," said Sturgeon. "We've always said we would work in alliance with others to promote progressive policies to build a fairer country, we stand ready to play our part in that alliance."

Finally, the first minister paid tribute to the two most high profile SNP losses on Thursday night – the party's deputy leader Angus Robertson and the former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond.

Speaking of Salmond, Sturgeon said: "My friend and mentor for almost 30 years and without a shadow of a doubt the giant of modern Scottish politics and someone who has devoted his life to serving this country."

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron attacks Theresa May for putting “party before country”

GLYN KIRK/AFP / Getty Images

The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, whose party performed better than expected on a tumultuous election night, attacked Theresa May and said she has brought nothing but "weakness and uncertainty" to the country.

"The future of our country is less certain than it was when Theresa May called the election a month and half ago," he said, referencing the two recent terror attacks in London and Manchester that dominated the campaign up to election night.

"The mandate that Theresa May sought from the British electorate has been rejected," he said. "She should consider her future, and then for once consider the future of the country."

Farron said he was "enormously proud" of the efforts of all the Lib Dem activists and the new Lib Dem members of parliament. His party gained four seats, taking the total the party holds to 12.

He also paid tribute to Nick Clegg, the former party leader who lost his seat, saying he was a "giant" of politics and that "in 2010 our country was on the edge of a precipice. Because of Nick Clegg it survived and flourished." Farron listed Clegg's achievements in office, and said he had "no doubt that history would be kind" to the former leader.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Both Tory Candidates Linked To "Gay Cure" Organisations Have Failed To Win Their Seats

Caroline Ansell and Kristy Adams

Two Conservative candidates linked to organisations accused of supporting attempts to "cure" LGBT people have failed to win in the tight marginal seats where they were standing.

In Eastbourne, Caroline Ansell lost to Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd by 1,609 votes. In Hove, Tory challenger Kristy Adams fell short by 18,757 votes, with Labour incumbent Peter Kyle retaining his seat.

Last month BuzzFeed News revealed that Adams had been an active member of the evangelical King's Arms Church in Bedfordshire for years. During this time the church was exposed by the Observer newspaper for reportedly attempting to "heal" gay and transgender people in quasi-exorcisms.

A week later, BuzzFeed News reported that elsewhere in the county, Ansell was a member of another branch of the Bedfordshire church, the Kings Church in Eastbourne. One of the pastors of the church, Andrew Wilson, had said he no longer experiences "same-sex attraction" – a term often used by advocates of so-called conversion therapy.

You can read more about these Conservative losses here. –Patrick Strudwick

Posted at

Meet the MPs who were elected by literally just a handful of votes

The election has seen surprising results, with some big names – including former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and former SNP leader Alex Salmond – losing their seats.

Meanwhile, many MPs clung on to their seats or claimed victory by the tiniest of margins. Here's a brief rundown:

  • The SNP's Stephen Gethins won Fife North East by two votes.
  • The SNP's Pete Wishart won Perth and North Perthshire by 21 votes.
  • Labour's Ian Austin won Dudley North by 22 votes.
  • Paul Farrelly, Labour's candidate for Newcastle-under-Lyme, won by 30 votes.
  • The Conservative party's Royston Smith won Southampton Itchen by 31 votes.
  • Labour's Laura Smith won Crewe and Nantwich by 48 votes.
  • And, the Conservatives' Zac Goldsmith won Richmond Park by 45 votes.

You can read more about each of these candidates, now MPs, here. –Sara Spary

Posted at

What the general election result could mean for Brexit

Theresa May called this snap unexpected election with one objective: to strengthen her mandate ahead of Brexit negotiations.

Like David Cameron before her, the prime minister will have reassured the European Union's other 27 member states she was confident her gamble would pay off. Like Cameron, she was wrong.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator tweeted on Friday morning: "#Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let's put our minds together on striking a deal."

The emphasis on the need to make a deal was echoed by EU Council president Donald Tusk.

We don't know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations". #GE2017

The difficulty for the UK is that the EU's position is unlikely to shift: Britain will not be able to stay in the single market without accepting freedom of movement.

Ahead of the vote, a senior official from a major European government told BuzzFeed News that "whoever wins, whatever the size of their mandate, it will make no difference whatsoever to our position".

You can read more about Europe's position in the wake of the election here. –Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

Conservative MPs express shock following night of upset

Conservative MPs told BuzzFeed News they were in collective shock and had lost faith in the prime minister's ability and judgment following the disastrous election result.

However, they said the precarious state of British politics made it more likely that she would be allowed to remain party leader.

"I simply cannot believe that the prime minister can last," one Tory MP told BuzzFeed News. "But she can survive."

The MP said the disastrous result, which has damaged trust in May, perversely also makes it harder to remove her because it could throw the nation into chaos, especially as Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

"Kicking her out, in a funny way, is even harder because of the instability … It's country, constituency, party in that order."

They said they expected foreign secretary Boris Johnson to investigate a leadership challenge but were unsure if he would formally challenge the prime minister, or if he would have sufficient support.

–Jim Waterson

Posted at

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall resigns following catastrophic election night

BBC screengrab

Paul Nuttall has formally resigned as UKIP leader after his party failed to gain a single seat and actually dropped its share of the national vote.

In his resignation speech, Nuttall claimed UKIP had been a "victim of its own success".

Following his resignation, the right-wing staunchly anti-EU party is facing its fifth leader in nine months.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

PM to visit Queen at 12.30pm today to form new government

Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

Conservative leader Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm today to seek permission from the Queen to form a new government.

Despite a disastrous night at the polls in which May's Conservative party failed to take a majority, the PM has confirmed she will visit the UK's head of state to ask permission to form a government.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Here are all the seats that changed hands in the general election

So far, 69 seats have switched parties. Labour gained the most new seats, winning a total of 35 seats across the country, and losing only 6, for a total gain of 29. They held on in virtually every marginal where they'd been seen as being under threat, often by huge margins.

The Tories made a lot of its losses back by winning seats elsewhere – they gained 20 seats over the night as well, for a net loss of 12. The SNP, meanwhile, didn't make any gains, ending the night with 35 seats, 21 down from their previous mark. The Liberal Democrats has a mixed night, but one they'll probably be pleased with on balance – they lost 4 of their 9 seats, but gained another 8, increasing their total overall.

Elsewhere, Plaid Cymru gained a seat from the Lib Dems, UKIP failed to win any seats. The Greens comfortably held on to Caroline Lucas's seat in Brighton Pavilion.

In Northern Ireland's 17 constituencies there were some dramatic changes, with Sinn Fein and the DUP emerging the winners – gaining 3 and 2 seats respectively. The SDLP and the UUP were the losers in this case, also shedding 3 and 2 seats. Read our breakdown, and check out the map, here.

–Tom Phillips

Posted at

26 funny tweets from election night, because we don't know what's happening

'Would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those pesky kids...' #GE2017

David Cameron: I've just owned myself so hard with that referendum, biggest self own of a generation Theresa May: HOLD MY GIN

I better stop making jokes about May in case she ends up as my editor by September.

The most disappointing thing about the UK election is there wasn't even a hint of Russian interference. It's like we don't matter at all.

You can see all the tweets here.

–Robin Edds

Posted at

Tory candidate James Wharton, who originally petitioned former PM David Cameron for EU vote, loses seat to Labour

Philip Toscano / PA Archive/PA Images

The Conservative candidate James Wharton, whose private member's bill pressured former prime minister David Cameron into the European Union referendum promise, has lost his Stockton South seat.

Development minister Wharton had held a 5,046 majority, but lost his seat to Labour following a tense night that included at least one recount. He is among six Conservative ministers who lost their seats.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

People keep saying the young voter turnout was 72% – but no one can verify it

Geoff Caddick / AFP / Getty Images

A number of people are sharing tweets crediting a high youth voter turnout as having a big impact on the outcome of the election. Many of them are claiming the youth vote is 72%.

The most widespread and significant tweet about this came from former NUS president Malia Bouattia, who said "early reports suggest" the figure is 72%, but no one know where this number has come from. The Metro has embedded Bouattia's tweet for its story with no other source.

Several other news outlets are also using the 72% figure. You can read more here.

–Ikran Dahir

Posted at

Jeremy Corbyn has said the Labour party is “ready” to serve

BBC screengrab

The Labour leader has come out and said that his party is "ready" to serve the country, adding that it was "clear" who won the election.

Corbyn, speaking to the BBC, said: "We are ready to serve this country, that is what we fought the election for, and this is the programme we put forward."

He went on to say: "I think it's pretty clear who won this election."

He said that Brexit negotiations would need to go ahead, but he heavily criticized Theresa May's party and the campaign she had run. "Well. It doesn't look like a strong government, it doesn't look like a stable government. It doesn't look like a government that has any programme whatsoever."

Corbyn went on to say: "We are there as the Labour party. Everyone can see the huge increase in our support because the way we contested the election, and the comprehensive nature of the programme we put forward."

Questioned on whether he and the Labour party should form the next government, Corbyn had this to sya: "We put forward our policies, strong and hopeful policies, and they've gained an amazing response and traction. I think it's pretty clear who won this election. We're ready to serve the people who have given their trust to us."

The shadow chancellor John McDonnell, speaking on the BBC, said the Labour party could form a minority government, although he said they were "not looking for a coalition or deals."

"If we can form a minority government, I think we can have a stable government. We would be able to produce a Queen's speech and budget based upon our manifesto, which I think could command majority support in parliament, not through deals or coalitions but policy by policy. That would prevent another election."

–Rose Troup Buchanan & Matthew Champion

Posted at

Tories rubbish suggestions over Theresa May's uncertain future

The Conservatives tried to quash speculation about Theresa May's future on Friday morning, with aides insisting she was pushing ahead with forming a new government and MPs taking to the airwaves to declare their support.

May was in Downing Street trying to pull together a minority government with the backing of the DUP. Insiders said May is determined to carry on after winning the most seats and the most votes.

But there is deep anger within the party at the disastrous campaign and some believe May will have to resign. "Perhaps not today but soon," one MP told BuzzFeed News.

–Alex Spence

Posted at

Exit poll far more accurate than in 2015

The exit poll, which came out at 10pm on Thursday, turned out to be far more accurate than the one from 2015.

While the Tories ended up winning 14 more seats than predicted when the polls closed in the 2015 election, this year's forecast of Tories on 314 seats, Labour on 266, the SNP on 34, and the Lib Dems on 14 was very close to the actual result.

With 646 seats declared out of 650 at 8am, the Tories had gained 315 seats, Labour 261, the SNP 35, and the Lib Dems 12.

–Marie Le Conte

Posted at

Kensington count suspended, as tellers "too tired" – results now expected this afternoon

The tellers in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have been sent home because they are "too tired".

Tellers have recounted the vote in the borough, normally a Conservative stalwart, four times over the course of the night, with some reports claiming the margin is as thin as just 40 votes.

The borough tweeted to confirm that another recount was needed. Earlier it said turnout was at 64.02%.

It will be a tense wait for Conservative candidate Victoria Borwick and Labour's Emma Dent Coad.


–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Prime minister has "no intention of resigning", reports say

Theresa May has "no intention of resigning," according to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. Instead the PM was "working to form a government".

In a shocking upset, the Conservative party dramatically failed to gain an overall majority of 326 seats, having called a snap election in April.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

Value of the pound falls as markets begin to react to UK election results

The value of the pound dropped against other currencies on Friday as the markets reacted to the prospect of a hung parliament and future uncertainty.

It initially fell against the dollar by 2%, the lowest level in six weeks, at $1.27 and by 0.6% against the Euro. Analysts expect it to remain volatile throughout the day, and to react if Theresa May resigns.

–Sara Spary

Posted at

The Tories have had a truly terrible night in the north of England

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

The Conservatives have endured a devastating night of losses in the north of England, where the party had hoped to pick up a swath of Labour seats.

Theresa May chose Halifax in West Yorkshire as the location for her manifesto launch, no doubt because the Conservatives had high hopes of overturning Labour's slim 428 vote majority.

Labour MP Holly Lynch tonight told BuzzFeed News it was "incredibly satisfying" to have not only retained the seat, but to have increased her majority twelvefold, winning by a margin of 5,376 votes.

"It's incredibly satisfying," she said, "to know that Theresa May launched her manifesto here, and we defended this seat with an increased majority. I hope that she'll reflect on that."

Lynch said she was "absolutely ecstatic" to have achieved such a decisive victory. She added: "I was in quite a defensive position going into this election, so to have won like this, I'm delighted."

In neighbouring Calder Valley the Tories nearly suffered an upset as Labour candidate Joshua Fenton-Glynn almost overturned a majority of more than 4,500. In City of Chester, Labour's Chris Matheson, who was defending a majority of just 93 votes, delivered a stunning result, returning a majority of more than 9,000 votes.

The Conservatives not only failed to win their target seats, but also lost seats to Labour.

Labour gained Warrington South and Weaver Vale – two of its target seats – from the Tories with convincing majorities of 2,549 and 3,928 respectively. Labour also took Keighley, West Yorkshire, from the Tories with a slim 249 majority.

You can read the full report of the Conservatives' terrible night in the north here.

–Hannah Al-Othman

Posted at

How newspapers reacted to the UK's WTF rollercoaster of an election

Have a look at the newspaper front pages this morning.

–Rose Troup Buchanan

Posted at

It’s been a night of optimism “tinged with sadness” for the Liberal Democrats

Scott Heppell / AFP / Getty Images

The Liberal Democrats seem to have come good on their promise of a fightback in this general election, having upped their number of seats from 9 to 12, despite fears they might lose seats.

Lib Dem veterans Vince Cable and Ed Davey won back their seats in southwest London, while Norman Lamb and Tom Brake held on to seats that were tightly contested in Norfolk North and Carsharlton respectively.

Wera Hobhouse in Bath, Christine Jardine in Edinburgh West, and Jo Swinson in Dunbartonshire East were also responsible for key Lib Dem wins of the night.

"I'm overjoyed by the result in East Dunbartonshire and the places we've made gains," Swinson, who won back the seat she lost in 2015's catastrophic defeat for the Lib Dems, told BuzzFeed News.

"I'm particularly delighted to see so many new Lib Dem women elected," she said. Four of the 12 Lib Dem MPs elected last night are women, compared to just 1 in 9 before Thursday's election. Across all parties there has been a record number of female MPs elected. "We will have the most gender-balanced LD party that we've ever had," Swinson added.

But the night wasn't wins all round for the Lib Dems, with former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg losing his long-held seat for Sheffield Hallam. Swinson said the night's victories were "tinged with sadness" as a result: "Nick Clegg's legacy is very significant. It's obviously a great sadness."

While leader Tim Farron did hold on to his seat, he did so with a majority of just 777 votes.

Nonetheless, Swinson felt optimistic about the future of the party, which has set out a long-term goal of becoming the main opposition party.

"There's lots of room for optimism looking at the team we'll have in the House of Commons," she said. "This is the beginning for the Liberal Democrats."

In particular, Swinson was hopeful about the impact the openly pro-Europe party could have on softening the final Brexit deal.

"Theresa May called this election to get a mandate for her vision of an extreme Brexit and this election result shows she doesn't have that," she said. "I will be pushing for a change in direction in the way that the government pushes for Brexit negotiations."

–Laura Silver

Posted at

How the general election turned Scottish politics on its head

PA Wire

A dramatic night of general election results in Scotland that saw former first minister Alex Salmond lose his seat has raised questions over the future of the SNP and the prospect of Scottish independence.

In one night the SNP lost 21 of the 56 seats it won in 2015, while the three pro-UK parties all inflicted shock defeats over Nicola Sturgeon's party.

The Scottish Conservatives surpassed their expectations to win 13 seats. Scottish Labour – previously thought to be in terminal decline – gained six, and even the Liberal Democrats won three previously SNP seats.

Sturgeon has already conceded that she will be forced to "reflect" on whether the devastating results – which also saw deputy leader Angus Robertson lose his seat – will lead her to put the breaks on another independence referendum.

The SNP's vote share fell by over 13% from its 2015. An SNP source said: "The scale of reversals flies in face of all [our] breathless self congratulation – I'm concerned a lot of our organisation doesn't know what it's doing if we didn't see it. I didn't go to umpteen seats because I was told they were fine."

You can read more about the SNP upset here.

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Labour holds Newcastle-under-Lyme by 30 votes

Full election result for #NewcastleUnderLyme #GE2017

Labour have held on to Newcastle-under-Lyme in one of the tightest races of the night. The incumbent MP, Paul Farrelly won the seat by just 30 votes.

It was eighth on the Tories' target list and earlier in the campaign it had widely been expected to go to the Conservatives.

It took two recounts for the result to be declared, to heavy sighs from the counting staff. In the end Labour won 21,124 votes, just ahead of the Conservatives with 21,094.

The seat was already one of the most marginal in the country. Farrelly was defending a majority of just 650 votes and was expected to be punished at the ballot box for his support for the European Union.

The town voted to leave the EU by 61% but Farrelly defied his electorate and was the only MP representing a Leave constituency to vote to delay triggering Article 50.

UKIP decided not to field a candidate at all in an attempt to prop up the Tories. Lynn Dean, chairwoman of the local UKIP branch, told BuzzFeed News last month the party was putting "country before party" because "by fielding a candidate, we would, in effect, be splitting the anti-Labour vote". But today's result suggests their former supporters went both ways.

In his acceptance speech, Farrelly said: "I had to rewrite these remarks because I don't think anybody really expected this."

He added: "I think in this election the country has rumbled Theresa May. This was not a second referendum on Europe, this was about not giving her a blank cheque on health, on education, on social care, and she has been found wanting. The British people have seen through it and the people of Newcastle have also seen through it."

Earlier on Thursday evening in Silverdale, a former mining town in the constituency, Bobby Roberts, 61, spoke to BuzzFeed News as she came out of the polling station. She has voted for Labour and Ukip in the past but said "I think Ukip is a wasted vote and I don't like the Conservatives. I've never voted for them.

"From what I can see, most people seem to want to vote because they don't want the Conservatives round here. I just think that by putting Labour in again, they'll concentrate more on the health service, which is a priority."

For Carl Denson, 57, a Labour voter came down to the Conservative's record on welfare. "People on the social turn up late to an appointment and then have to go 13 weeks without feeding their kids. And all these food banks. I've never seen anything like it."

Just a month ago it was looking very different here. When BuzzFeed News went to the constituency at the start of the election campaign, most former UKIP voters told us they were planning to vote Tory and there seemed to be very little support for Jeremy Corbyn.

The close-run race was overshadowed by problems with voter registration, as many people who had registered to vote being turned away from polling stations. Votes lost through issues with both registration and postal votes going awry incensed candidates.

Farrelly said 120 people have contacted him because they were unable to vote. The Conservative candidate Owen Meredith also said he was aware of around 100 case. BuzzFeed News spoke to several students earlier in the day who had emails confirming they were registered to vote but were unable to cast their ballot because their names were not on the list.

Farrelly said earlier in the night: "I've had 120 complaints at the minute. It's an absolute shambles. Missing postal votes, delays in registration and people turned away from polling booths. It's a scandal."

In his losing speech, Meredith said: "clearly there have been some issues in this election which need to be investigated."

A spokesman for Newcastle Borough Council, said: "My understanding is that we haven't turned large numbers of people away…We have followed the processes for online and postal registration. We will do a review as we do after every election."

– Emily Dugan

Posted at

Stunned Tories are already debating whether Theresa May should step down

Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

Stunned Conservative MPs were debating the future of their leader this morning, after Theresa May's "dreadful" campaign led the party to an unexpectedly poor election result.

Some suggested May wouldn't survive the day, after her disastrous decision to call an election three years early backfired and left the party with fewer seats than it won in 2015 with David Cameron at the helm.

Eight weeks ago, May appeared on track to return to 10 Downing Street with a historic majority that would “strengthen her hand” as prime minister.

Instead, shocked MPs were struggling to reckon with a startlingly poor result in the early hours of Friday morning. Behind the scenes, many were asking whether May would be able to survive as leader.

“I’m afraid we ran a pretty dreadful campaign. That’s probably me being generous,” Anna Soubry, the pro-Remain MP, told the BBC after narrowly hanging on to her seat in Broxtowe.

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, was already sounding out colleagues about potentially challenging for the party leadership before the full extent of the disappointment was clear, Conservative sources told BuzzFeed News.

Read more here.

–Alex Spence

Posted at

It looks like no one has won the general election – so WTF happens now?

Getty Images

The UK is waking up to an election result not many people expected – including Theresa May, who called a snap election to increase her majority and now looks like she'll be left with no majority at all.

To win an election outright, a party must in theory secure 326 of 650 seats in the House of Commons, gaining a (very slim) majority and earning the right to form the next government.

As it stands, while the Conservatives are predicted to come very close to this total, with a forecasted 316 seats, they will not exceed it. Labour's performance is set to strongly outperform expectations but will leave the party well short of the 326 total, with a predicted 265 seats.

So, if no one has a majority, what happens now? Read more here.

–James Ball

Posted at

Theresa May has made one of the worst mistakes in political history

If you’re just waking up: Labour have done v well, no-one can form a govt, and this is the @BuzzFeedUK homepage…

Theresa May's decision to call a snap general election has backfired spectacularly, with the Tories losing their majority in House of Commons to a Labour surge that saw Jeremy Corbyn stage one of the most astonishing comebacks ever seen in a UK election.

May went to the country in the belief she could take advantage of Corbyn's dire poll ratings to win an enormous parliamentary majority and secure her position as prime minister for the next five years. Instead, she appears to have committed one of the most unnecessarily self-destructive acts in British electoral history.

The Tories are still on track to be the biggest party in parliament but are expected be short of the working majority of 17 seats they won under David Cameron in the 2015 general election. This potentially throws their ability to form a new government into chaos, just days before Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

May's her future as prime minister is now in severe doubt, with one Conservative MP claiming to BuzzFeed News that foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who dropped out of the leadership race after the Brexit vote, is already considering his options as a potential replacement.

Read more here.

–Jim Waterson

Posted at

Amber Rudd has held on to her Hastings and Rye seat – but only just

Full election result for #Hastings & #Rye #GE2017

The home secretary has only narrowly clung on to her seat in Sussex. Reports from the count suggested she asked for several recounts.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Labour has had a very, very good night in London

Tulip Siddiq/BuzzFeed News/Laura Gallant

A number of marginal seats in London have been held or gained by Labour tonight, with some constituencies having massive swings.

Rupa Huq, the incumbent MP in Ealing Central and Acton, had a wafer-thin majority of 274 in 2015. She has now achieved nearly 60% of the entire vote share.

Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Kilburn, who also had a narrow majority, also achieved nearly 60% of the vote.

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed News' Aisha Gani followed them both while campaigning and found that Brexit was a huge issue on the doorstep in the capital.

–Francis Whittaker and Aisha Gani

Posted at

The Tories have failed to gain Halifax. It was their top target seat.

Full election result for #Halifax #GE2017

Labour's Holly Lynch has held on convincingly in Halifax. This is significant, as it was the Tories' top target seat, and the place where Theresa May launched her manifesto.

Lynch now has a majority of around 5,000.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Nicola Sturgeon will "reflect" on IndyRef2 after the SNP suffered huge losses

Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will be forced to "reflect" on holding a second referendum on independence after the SNP suffered devastating losses on election night, including the seats of Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond.

The losses for Sturgeon's party exceeded by far anything expected ahead of the general election, with the SNP losing in seats such as Banff and Buchan, in the northeast of Scotland, where they held a majority of 15,000 votes.

The party lost to the Conservatives the two most senior members of its previous Westminster group: its deputy leader, Robertson, and the former leader of the party and former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond.

Speaking after Salmond's defeat, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson declared: "IndyRef2 is dead in Scotland – Nicola Sturgeon has to reflect on that."

Shortly before the announcement of Salmond's loss, Sturgeon said she was "disappointed" her party was experiencing such significant losses and that she had lost so many of her experienced colleagues.

"We're pretty clear that we will have won more seats than all of the other parties combined," said Sturgeon. "The SNP has won this election in Scotland – it will be our second-best ever result in a Westminster election.

"That said, yes we are disappointed. I am disappointed to have had a number of losses, not least the loss of Angus Robertson, who's been such an outstanding MP for Moray but also an exceptional leader of the SNP group."

Sturgeon blamed the losses on a "large surge" to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party – with Scottish Labour gaining six seats from the SNP – and uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU.

"There's been a late surge to Jeremy Corbyn across the UK including in Scotland ... clearly there is a post-Brexit uncertainty," she said. "Independence is clearly a factor in that, and I will reflect on that in the days to come.

She added: "The other thing that has to be said is, tonight is a disaster for Theresa May. ... she thought she could steamroller the opposition."

A senior SNP source has already told BuzzFeed News that Sturgeon will face "questions" over her leadership of the party tomorrow, alongside the leadership of chief executive of the SNP Peter Murrell, her husband.

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Theresa May has hinted that she will not immediately stand down as Conservative leader, despite the party's poor results

Geoff Caddick / AFP / Getty Images

Theresa May looked shellshocked in her first address of the night, but hinted she will not immediately stand down as leader of the Conservative party, despite a shock election result.

Appearing at her constituency count in Maidenhead, where she was re-elected as MP with a majority of more than 26,000, May was grim-faced.

"We have yet to see the full picture emerging, votes are still being counted," the prime minister said, but speculation was rampant about whether she will be able to stay as party leader if the Tories lose seats.

May hinted that she might try to cling on if there's a hung parliament, at least temporarily, saying: "At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability. And if, as the indications have shown, if this is correct, that the Conservative party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent upon us to ensure that we have that period of stability, and that is exactly what we will do."

She added: "As we look ahead and we wait to see what the final results will be, I know, as I say, the country needs a period of stability. Whatever the results are, the Conservative party will ensure that we fulfil our duty in ensuring that stability, so that we can all, as one country, go forward together."

–Alex Spence

Posted at

A lot of people on Twitter are sharing this Theresa May tweet from last month

If I lose just six seats I will lose this election and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with Europe:

It has not aged well.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

The Conservatives have lost Croydon Central. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported how young, black voters could swing the vote there.

Laura Gallant/BuzzFeed News

Read more here.

–Fiona Rutherford

Posted at

So, what do the results so far actually show us? TL;DR: They are *sort of* following Brexit. At least to some extent.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

When Theresa May called the election she said the vote would be about Brexit. However, throughout the campaign the prime minister provided little detail about her plans beyond telling voters through a string of soundbites that she she would be better than Jeremy Corbyn at fighting for Britain.

But with nearly 150 seats declared, it does look like the way people voted in last year's EU referendum is shaping, to some extent at least, the night's results.

Labour is outperforming expectations in constituencies that voted Remain, particularly in London, and including in seats held by Tory ministers such as Ben Gummer.

#GE2017: Battersea: Lab: 45.9% (+9.1) Con: 41.5% (-10.8) LDem: 8.0% (+3.6) Ind: 2.2% (+2.3) Grn: 1.6% (-1.7) UKIP: 0.6% (-2.5)

Meanwhile, in places that voted to leave the European Union, the pre-election expectation (and a key plank of the Tory strategy) was that UKIP's 2015 voters would opt for the Tories in overwhelming proportions. But in seat after seat the UKIP vote is splitting more evenly between the Tories and Labour. The net result is that May's party is falling short.

Labour hold Great Grimsby - another seat that had huge UKIP vote before

As it became clear that May would fall short of her primary objective for calling a snap election – strengthening her mandate – Conservative activists said the prime minister's Brexit proposals, including leaving the single market, would be back on the table. The point was echoed by former chancellor George Osborne, who predicted there wouldn't be a majority in parliament to exit the single market.

George Osborne: "Will there be a majority in the Commons for leaving the single market? I don't think so."…

–Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

Corbyn: Tory results are "enough for Theresa May to go"

Jack Taylor / Getty

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has retained his seat in Islington North with a huge majority, and he said the results for the Conservatives are enough for Theresa May "to go and make way for a government that's truly representative".

"This election was called in order for the prime minister to gain a larger majority in order to assert her authority," he said during his speech at the count in Islington, north London. "I've spoken at events and rallies all over the country: Politics has changed and politics isn't going back into the box where it was before.

"They've had quite enough of austerity politics.

"I'm very very proud of the campaign that our party has run, our manifesto for the many not the few, and the results that are coming in from all over the country tonight.

"If this is a message from tonight's result it's this: The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate.

"I would have thought that's enough to go and make way for a government that's truly representative."

–Francis Whittaker and Jim Waterson

Posted at

Senior Tories are set to demand that Theresa May sack her two top advisers

Ben Cawthra/LNP

Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, advisers to Theresa May, arrive at 10 Downing Street for May's first full day as prime minister in July 2016.

Senior Tories will demand that Theresa May sack her powerful top aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill if she clings on to form a government.

Blame for the apparently disastrous electoral result for the Conservatives is being laid at the feet of Timothy and Hill, who have been integral to May's administration.

Asked if the party will demand that May have a shake-up of her senior staff and sack Hill and Timothy if she gets back into Number 10, a senior MP told BuzzFeed News: "I think them going is the minimum."

Concerns about the way May's team operates – they're seen as too secretive, controlling, and aloof – that had festered for a year in government came to the surface during the election campaign. Timothy in particular was blamed for the U-turn on social care that overshadowed May's manifesto launch.

As BuzzFeed News reported this week, there were already calls in the party for May to change the way she operated if it got back into government. But since the shock exit poll at 10pm last night suggested the party would actually lose seats, the sentiment against Hill and Timothy has hardened.

"Her most senior advisers, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, must go," the website ConservativeHome reported, summarising the views of various MPs and ministers as they absorbed the unexpectedly poor performance.

Read BuzzFeed News' article from earlier this week on how dependent the PM has become on Hill and Timothy here. –Alex Spence

Posted at

The SNP's leader in Westminster Angus Robertson has lost his seat

Justin Tallis/AFP / Getty

Angus Robertson, the SNP's deputy leader and most senior figure in the last Westminster parliament, has lost his seat to the Scottish Conservatives.

Robertson, who was defending a 9,000 majority from the Conservatives, was decisively beaten by over 4,000 votes by Douglas Ross MSP in what is turning out to be a disastrous night for Nicola Sturgeon's party.

The SNP has been bleeding seats to both Ruth Davidson's Conservatives and the Scottish Labour party with only a handful of results announced, with an SNP source describing the unfolding events as "quite simply an awful night".

Read more here.

–Jamie Ross

Posted at

Men's rights advocate and Tory MP Philip Davies has kept his seat in Shipley, and women are devastated

Rex Features

Women and their supporters celebrated when it seemed that Philip Davies, the Conservative candidate for Shipley, had lost his seat, but it later transpired that he had in fact held it.

Davies is known for advocating for men's rights and talking bills out of parliament – a process known as "filibustering". He recently used this tactic to try and block a bill to ratify the Istanbul Convention, a legal framework that aims to combat violence against women.

Initially, the vote appeared to be going against Davies – provoking delight among activists and women across the UK. Jenn Selby, a feminist campaigner who was instrumental in IC Change, the group that helped bring the bill to ratify the Istanbul Convention to parliament, told BuzzFeed News it was "brilliant" that Davies had lost his seat.

"Women have been waiting long enough for the justice that they deserve when it comes to ending violence against women, and he was someone who held up the process for reasons that are not only ignorant but misogynistic," she said. "This couldn't be a better win for women."

But shortly after 4am, it was declared that Davies had won the in Shipley with a majority of more than 5,000, with Labour coming in second place.

You can read the full story here. –Laura Silver

Posted at

The SNP's leader in the House of Commons no longer has a seat in the House of Commons, and Nick Clegg has lost to Labour in Sheffield Hallam

Angus Robertson, the SNP's leader in Westminster, was the first major figure to lose his seat. Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats was defeated by Labour shortly after.

Read more here.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Tom Watson says Theresa May is a "damaged" prime minister

Tom Watson has called Theresa May a “damaged prime minister” as he held his seat in West Bromwich East.

The deputy Labour leader said the PM’s reputation has been seriously tarnished by the Conservatives’ performance in this general election.

“The next few hours and the next few days look very uncertain, but one thing can be sure: Theresa may’s authority has been undermined by this election,” Watson said in a victory speech after it was declared that he would hold his seat of West Bromwich East with an increased majority.

“She is a damaged prime minister whose reputation may never recover,” he added.

When the election was called, the Tories had hoped to increase their majority substantially, with Watson’s seat a longshot target. Watson said he believed people were “crying out for something more than what the Tories have given us for the last seven years”.

“They want something to hope for,” Watson said. “They’ve responded to a positive campaign. We don’t yet know how this election will turn out, but we know that the people vote for hope.”

–Laura Silver

Posted at

Here are some of the of the best pictures from election day – and night – so far

Anthony Devlin / Getty

After weeks of campaigning, the 2017 UK general election finally arrived on 8 June. Here are some of the best pictures from the day, and the night, so far.

–Matthew Tucker

Posted at

Election night has been full of drama so far, and Twitter has been at it best

Exit poll got me like #Election2017

Posted at

Labour has held on to Darlington, and that's a big indication that Theresa May's election gamble hasn't paid off

Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

Theresa May in Darlington during the campaign.

Labour's victory in Darlington, one of the Conservatives' top target seats, is another sign that Theresa May's election gamble may not have paid off.

The County Durham town was exactly the type of northern pro-Brexit constituency the prime minister had hoped to win by calling this election. It was previously held by the Conservatives during the Margaret Thatcher years and it has been Labour ever since but the majority had slowly eroded away.

The Conservatives repeatedly targeted the constituency, with the prime minister visiting the town.

In the end Jenny Chapman was narrowly re-elected on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn's party, and she had not even prepared for a speech for the eventuality.

–Jim Waterson

Posted at

Here's how Thursday's front pages compare to Friday's

An exit poll predicting Conservative losses and Labour gains has led many newspapers to change their tune somewhat.

Read more here.

–Ikran Dahir and Laura Silver

Posted at

George Osborne says Theresa May's manifesto was "one of the worst manifestos in history" from a governing party

.@George_Osborne is having the time of his life

George Osborne, the former Tory chancellor of the exchequer, who is now editor of the London Evening Standard, has said Theresa May's policy manifesto was "one of the worst manifestos in history".

Osborne, who was sacked by May when she became prime minister last summer, is getting cold revenge in real time as an election night pundit on ITV News.

Analysing the Conservatives’ apparently disappointing election result, Osborne said their policy manifesto, which included the controversial so-called dementia tax, which sparked a backlash within the party that forced May to U-turn only four days after she announced it, was a “total disaster”.

It was one of the worst campaign manifestos in British political history, Osborne said. Then he added: “I say one of the worst, I can’t think of a worse one.”

–Alex Spence

Posted at

People are staying up for the election drama and cannot believe tonight's exit poll

Hung parliament?! Maybe I will stay up a little longer #ExitPoll #ElectionDay2017

Here's the best social media reaction to the exit poll.

–Victoria Sanusi

Posted at

The Tories have held Kettering, and the swing there presents an ~interesting~ picture about what's happening this evening and where the 2015 UKIP votes are going

#GE2017: Kettering: Con: 57.9% (+6.1) Lab: 36.5% (+11.4) LDem: 3.3% (+0.1) Grn: 2.3% (-1.2) Con hold.

The Kettering result is extremely interesting. The Tories held the seat, and their share of the vote increased by 6.1 percentage points compared to 2015.

However, UKIP, who won 16% of the vote in 2015, didn’t present a candidate in the Midlands seat this year. Meanwhile, Labour’s vote is up 11.4%, suggesting that the big UKIP to Tory shift many were expecting hasn’t happened in this particular constituency.

–Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

Liam Fox has said a "very different picture" seems to be emerging in different places across the country

International trade secretary Liam Fox has said the results so far are a bit of a mixed picture. Speaking to the BBC, he said:

"There is a very different picture emerging across the country. It's entirely possible that we'll get an overall majority. I was across a lot of seats in the north of England where the Labour vote was very much softer than it was for example in London, so I think that we'll be seeing a lot of very different results across the country – it might be very well into the night before we've got an overall picture.

"If we've got an overall majority, that clearly is a win. I think we're seeing a number of different things tonight – I think we're seeing a return to two-party politics. ... We're seeing an increase in both the Labour and Conservative votes. How that affects individual seats, how that affects seats in Scotland and Wales, I think remains to be seen. One thing we can be sure of is that a lot of the pollsters will have got the result wrong. I think we'll not see a single national swing across the country, it's going to be quite different in different regions.

We will give our support to the prime minister. I think she was right to call the election ... because we will have a parliament that runs to 2022 and give us extra time for those Brexit negotiations."

–Alan White and Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Confused about what's happening? This is the picture so far:

It is still too early to make any definitive calls on the exit poll, especially because all the constituencies where results have been announced so far are places where Labour and the Conservatives were defending large majorities and therefore were expected to win comfortably.

However, there are some early useful signals. Though the Conservatives performed better than the exit poll would suggest in the first seats to be called Newcastle Central, and Sunderland South, the results in Newcastle East and in Swindon North are more or less in line with what you would expect from the exit poll.

The one trend present in all the constituencies that have declared so far is an increase in turnout ranging from four percentage points in Tory-held Swindon North to 14 points in Newcastle upon Tyne East, suggesting that many who didn't cast a ballot in 2015 did so this year.

–Alberto Nardelli

Posted at

Thornberry says Labour could attempt to form a government

Neil Hall / Reuters

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has told the BBC that Labour could attempt to form a government if it does indeed overperform expectations after the count tonight.

Asked why she thought Theresa May should resign, Thornberry said: "She called this election when she thought that she was 20 points ahead in the polls. ... She basically wanted to stamp out the opposition. She basically wanted to have a blank cheque, a free hand to do whatever she wanted with the country in terms of Brexit negotiations, in terms of what she was doing to the NHS, and the country has said no.

"The country has looked to the Labour party and we have put forward a positive alternative. The star of our show was the manifesto ... and we have turned it around, and we have fought a very positive campaign, and if she wanted to get a mandate out of this election, she hasn't got it. So she's failed."

Reflecting on the exit poll, Thornberry said: "If I'm honest, obviously we're disappointed if we're not able to form a majority government ... but think of all those who were saying six or seven weeks ago that it was just a question of how big Theresa May's majority was going to be. For us to have come from such a long way back, supposedly, to now be in a position where we could form the next government is an extraordinary performance on behalf of the Labour party.

"We would put forward a Queen's Speech and a Budget and we would call on the other parties to vote for it. It would be up to them to explain to their constituents how it was they let the Tories back in."

–Francis Whittaker and Alan White

Posted at

There was initial shock at Tory HQ following the exit poll, but the mood has improved after early results trickled in

Kevin Coombs / Reuters

A Conservative party activist at the count in Hastings.

The Conservatives were aghast at 10pm when the exit poll suggested they were on track not to win a comfortable majority but to actually lose seats.

But after the initial shock, the mood in party headquarters has improved somewhat as the first results begin to trickle in, BuzzFeed News understands.

Publicly, senior Conservatives like Michael Fallon and Liam Fox have been cautiously talking down the exit poll, saying it's still too early to draw conclusions. Privately, however, the Conservatives believe that if the trends we've seen in the early results are replicated across the country, they'll win an overall majority relatively comfortably.

Analysts also warned that the exit poll may have underestimated how well the Conservatives performed. Peter Kellner, of YouGov, speaking on the BBC, said that the exit poll hasn't picked up postal voters, who are seen as more likely to have voted for the Tories.

–Alex Spence

Posted at

The Lib Dems have again ruled out any coalitions or deals with Labour or the Conservatives

We are getting a lot of calls so just to be clear: No Coalition. No deals.

The Liberal Democrat press office has reiterated the party's campaign promise of no coalitions or deals with Labour or the Conservatives.

The exit poll at 10pm predicted that the party could expect to emerge from the 2017 general election with 14 seats, five more than it holds at present. These seats – if the Conservative seat prediction is also accurate – could have been enough to push the Conservatives into a very small majority.

The Liberal Democrat position, if maintained, would make the prospect of any party gaining enough seats to form a coalition even more unlikely.

–James Ball

Posted at

A former senior civil servant says there will be panic at the Cabinet Office following this evening's exit poll

The exit poll might be causing a stir on social media – and at election-watching parties across the country – but it will be sending shockwaves through the Cabinet Office as the civil service prepares to deal with a surprise result.

Civil servants prepare for all outcomes of an election, but had largely expected Theresa May return to Number 10 and for them to be dealing with a cabinet reshuffle. If this poll is right, that will be different, one former senior civil servant who worked there told BuzzFeed News.

"The Cabinet Office will be panicking, frankly," he said. "Number 10 was prepping for ministerial moves tomorrow. It's looking like a different agenda now.

"In the short term, they will be dusting off the protocols that shaped the coalition agreement and preparing for a hard weekend of negotiations. In the long term, they will be fretting about how on earth they can help an unstable government deliver Brexit – the biggest policy challenge in a generation."

–James Ball

Posted at

There are a few ~interesting characters~ at the election counts tonight

Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

This is Mr Fishfinger, who has been fighting for Tim Farron's Westmoreland and Lonsdale seat.

Here he is enjoying a coffee and giving a thumbs-up at the count in Kendal.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Newcastle Central has beaten Houghton and Sunderland South to be the first seat to declare tonight

Newcastle Central: LAB hold #GE2017. Full results:

The North East rivals were racing to be the first to finish their count, and Newcastle Central came out on top.

Incumbent Labour MP Chi Onwurah has retained her seat, with an increased majority.

Houghton & Sunderland South: Lab: 59.6% (+4.4) Con: 29.6% (+11.2) UKIP: 5.7% (-15.8) LDem: 2.2% (+0.1) Grn: 1.7% (-1.1) Ind: 1.2% (+1.2)

Houghton and Sunderland South declared a little while later and also showed an increased Labour majority, although the Conservatives enjoyed a large swing.

–Francis Whittaker

Posted at

Politicians in Scotland are reacting to this evening's exit poll – and they can't believe it