Live #Vote2017: Scottish Conservative leader 'given gay rights pledge from Theresa May over DUP tie-up'

Live #Vote2017: Scottish Conservative leader 'given gay rights pledge from Theresa May over DUP tie-up'

The story so far: Theresa May has announced her intention to form a government with the support of the DUP, after the UK election resulted in a hung parliament in which no single party secured a majority of seats.

  • RESULTS (650 seats): Conservatives 318 seats, Labour 262, SNP 35, Lib Dems 12, DUP 10, SF 7, Ukip 0, Green 1, Other 5; one seat left to declare (Kensington, London);
  • Mrs May's party had 42.45% of the vote while Labour's share had increased by almost 10 points from its 2015 level to 39.99;
  • The Conservatives’ 318 seats leave them eight seats short of a (326) majority and with 13 fewer than before Theresa May called the election;
  • Theresa May has said she will form a government with the support of the DUP, which secured 10 seats. The form of that agreement (formal coalition / confidence and supply agreement) is as yet unclear;
  • Update 11.11pm: Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she has received assurances from British Prime Minister over gay rights should the Tories do a deal with Democratic Unionist Party.

    Ms Davidson, who is gay, spoke out after Theresa May outlined a plan to seek a deal with the socially hardline party, which has 10 seats in the Commons, to prop up her minority administration.

    In an apparent criticism of the plan, Ms Davidson today tweeted a link to a speech she made in favour of marriage equality, with the message: "As a Protestant Unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic, here's the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast."

    Ms Davidson, who became engaged to partner Jen Wilson in May 2016, later told the BBC: "I was fairly straightforward with her (Mrs May) and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than the party.

    "One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights.

    "I asked for a categoric assurance that if any deal or scoping deal was done with the DUP there would be absolutely no rescission of LGBTI rights in the rest of the UK, in Great Britain, and that we would use any influence that we had to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland

    "It's an issue very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurances from the prime minister on, and I received (them)."

    Northern Ireland is the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriage remains outlawed.

    The DUP has repeatedly used a controversial Stormont voting mechanism - the petition of concern - to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage, despite a majority of MLAs supporting the move at the last vote.

    Update 7.10pm: Labour staged a major upset to take the London seat of Kensington by a hair's breadth to end the 2017 British General Election almost 24 hours after the polls closed.

    Emma Dent Coad saw off Tory incumbent Victoria Borwick, overturning the former city deputy mayor's 7,000 majority from 2015 by just 20 votes in a large swing to the opposition.

    Live #Vote2017: Scottish Conservative leader 'given gay rights pledge from Theresa May over DUP tie-up'

    It took a third recount to get the result this evening, with a break having been taken after two early-hours counts to allow staff to rest.

    The west London seat, which has had its boundaries redrawn several times, had been in the hands of the Conservatives since its establishment in 1974.

    It means that the Tories end the campaign with 318 seats to Labour's 262, eight shy of an overall majority.

    Update 7.25pm: British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to head a minority Conservative government - propped up by the Democratic Unionists - after her General Election gamble backfired disastrously.

    She announced she was leaving the most senior members of her Cabinet team - including Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson - in place as she began forming a new administration.

    There had been speculation Mr Hammond, the Chancellor, would be vulnerable in a post-election re-shuffle and the decision to leave him in the Treasury was being seen as a sign of her weakness after her Commons majority was wiped out.

    The result was a personal humiliation for Mrs May who called the election three years before she had to bolster her position in Parliament as she embarked on the negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she had lost all legitimacy and called on her to stand aside and allow him to form an alternative administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve".

    However, Mrs May insisted that, as the leader of the largest party in the new parliament, she had a duty to act in the "national interest" and lead the country through the Brexit negotiations starting in ten days' time.

    "That is why I think at this critical time for our country it is important to form a government in the national interest," she said.

    "As we are the party that won most seats and most votes, we are the only party that is in a position to form a government that can do that."

    Update 4.30pm: British Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised to the Tory candidates who lost their seats in the general election, adding: "I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward."

    Update 1.30pm: Speaking of her relationship with the DUP, Theresa May said: "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."

    Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

    It is not thought that the PM has offered a full coalition with the DUP, which was catapulted into the role of kingmaker after increasing its representation at Westminster by two to 10 MPs.

    Shortly before Mrs May's statement, senior Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson said it was "much too early" to talk of a formal agreement with a minority Conservative government.

    In a humiliating night for the Prime Minister, Mrs May saw Tory ranks at Westminster reduced from 330 to 318 - with one constituency left to declare - while eight ministers were culled from the Government's front benches.

    Meanwhile, Labour - which had been written off by critics as all but unelectable - surged to 261 seats, up 29 from its tally in the 2015 election.

    Liberal Democrats gained four seats to amass 12 MPs, but lost their former leader and ex-deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in perhaps the highest-profile casualty in a night of stunning results.

    Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party retained just 35 of the 56 seats it secured two years ago, and lost its Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, and former first minister, Alex Salmond.

    And Ukip leader Paul Nuttall fell on his sword after just six months in the job, after slumping to a distant third place in Skegness & Boston on a woeful night for the Eurosceptic party, which shed swathes of voters to Labour and Conservatives.

    Mr Corbyn said it was clear Labour had won the election and indicated he was ready to put forward a programme for government in an alternative Queen's Speech.

    "I think it's pretty clear who won this election," he said at Labour's headquarters in central London.

    Update 12.55pm: Theresa May has said she intends to form a government that will provide "certainty" and guide the country through Brexit talks.

    Following an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, the British Prime Minister said she was confident that she would be able to work with the North's Democratic Unionist Party at Westminster in a new administration.

    "I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a Government," she said, "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."

    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

    She said despite losing a dozen MPs in the election, she intended to press ahead with her plans to take the UK out of the European Union and forge a new trade deal with its former partners.

    Mrs May faced calls from within her own party to consider her own position after the election, which she brought forward by three years in the hope it would deliver her a comfortable Commons majority, ended with Labour making significant advances.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged her to resign and allow him to form a minority administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve this country."

    But, after intensive talks with the DUP as the final election results came in, the PM instead drove the short distance to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for permission to form a new government.

    She is expected to announce ministerial appointments later today.

    Update 12.30pm: Theresa May has gone to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for permission to form a government.

    It comes in the wake of the disastrous snap election which has robbed Conservatives of their overall majority in the House of Commons.

    The PM set off from 10 Downing Street with husband Philip to make the short journey to the palace in a chauffeur driven Government car.

    The move came after it was made clear that Mrs May has no intention of standing down as Conservative leader, despite calls from among her own MPs for her to consider her position.

    It is thought that she is hopeful of striking some sort of deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to allow Tories to continue in government despite failing to achieve an absolute majority in the House of Commons.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged her to resign and allow him to form a minority administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve this country."

    Mrs May and her husband were driven through the north centre gate and across the quadrangle to the King's door entrance of the monarch's London residence.

    Mrs May, wearing Conservative blue, was greeted by the Queen's equerry Wing Commander Sam Fletcher as she stepped out of the silver car. They shook hands before quickly proceeding up the stairs into the palace, shortly before 12.30pm.

    The Queen was meeting Mr and Mrs May in her private audience room.

    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street to travel to Buckingham Palace for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street to travel to Buckingham Palace for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

    Update 10.45am: Paul Nuttall has resigned as Ukip leader after his party's woeful showing at the General Election.

    The Eurosceptic party had been hoping to make gains in Thursday's poll, with Mr Nuttall running a campaign pledging to "ensure there is no backsliding on Brexit".

    But after Ukip failed to gain a single seat in Westminster - and with Mr Nuttall coming third in Boston and Skegness - he opted to leave his position, telling reporters: "A new era must begin with a new leader."

    He said he had left the foundations for the new leader to build on and ensured that the party was "still on the pitch".

    And he insisted Ukip was "more relevant than ever" and would play the role in the coming months of the "guard dogs of Brexit".

    Ukip leader Paul Nuttall announcing that he is standing down as party leader. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    Ukip leader Paul Nuttall announcing that he is standing down as party leader. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

    Update 10.20am: Theresa May is to ask the Queen for permission to form a government in the wake of the snap election which has robbed Conservatives of their overall majority in the House of Commons.

    The DUP has said it will support her government. The DUP won 10 seats, and its support would allow Mrs May to form a government with a razor-thin majority or two or three seats (Kensington has yet to declare).

    A Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm today to speak to the Queen.

    The precise form the DUP support will take is unclear as yet. Commentary suggests it will be a ‘confidence and supply deal, and not a formal coalition.

    The move came after it was made clear that Mrs May has no intention of standing down as Conservative leader, despite calls from among her own MPs for her to consider her position.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged her to resign and allow him to form a minority administration, declaring: "We are ready to serve this country."

    Theresa May looks on after she held her seat. Picture: PA
    Theresa May looks on after she held her seat. Picture: PA

    Update 9am: The Conservatives have lost the British election and should stand aside for a Labour minority government, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

    The Labour leader reiterated his call for Theresa May to resign as Prime Minister and said his party had achieved an "incredible result", putting on more than three million votes and gaining seats all over the UK.

    "I think it's pretty clear who won this election," he said at Labour's headquarters in central London.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted by hiis Office Director Karie Murphy as he arrives at Labour Party HQ in Westminster. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted by hiis Office Director Karie Murphy as he arrives at Labour Party HQ in Westminster. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

    "We are ready to do everything we can to put our programme into operation. There isn't a parliamentary majority for anybody at the present time, the party that has lost in this election is the Conservative Party, the arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost.

    "I think we need a change."

    He added: "We are ready to serve this country."

    Mr Corbyn said Labour was "ready to serve" as the Government and would not make any coalition deals or pacts.

    "We have done no deals and no pacts with anybody, we're there as the Labour Party with our points of view, everybody knows what they are and everyone can see the huge increase in our support because of the way we conducted the election and the comprehensive nature of the programme we put forward."

    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster. Photo: Rick Findler/PA Wire
    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster. Photo: Rick Findler/PA Wire

    Mr Corbyn mocked Mrs May's election campaign slogan that she would provide "strong and stable" leadership.

    "She fought the election on the basis that it was her campaign, it was her decision to call the election, it was her name out there, and she was saying she was doing it to bring about strong and stable government.

    "Well this morning 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."

    Asked if there would now be another election, Mr Corbyn said: "Parliament must meet and Parliament will have to take a decision on what happens. When a government puts forward the Queen's Speech, we will put forward our point of view, we are of course ready to serve."

    Mr Corbyn said Labour has won a "huge mandate" to challenge austerity.

    Asked if the uncertainty created by a hung parliament was good for Britain, he replied: "A hung parliament is what we've been given, it's up to MPs to deal with that.

    "We have a huge mandate from a huge increase in our support to carry forward a programme that challenges austerity, that challenges poverty and challenges inequality and gives opportunities for young people, for people in the middle, and gives protection for older people.

    "That surely is a very important message that the people in this country, in every part of this country, have given us all today."

    Update 7.40am: Theresa May will seek to stay on as Prime Minister and Tory leader despite failing to win a majority after her decision to hold a snap election backfired spectacularly.

    As the June 8 poll ended in a hung parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority in the House of Commons, Mrs May pledged the Tories would offer "stability" as the largest party with the most votes.

    But Conservative former minister Anna Soubry said she should "consider her position" and take personal responsibility for a "dreadful" campaign and a "deeply flawed" manifesto after choosing to go to the country three years early in the hope of extending her majority.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to resign, saying she should "go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country".

    But Tory sources indicated she would continue in Number 10.

    "Certainly that's what's expected," a source said.

    The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement this morning.

    Update 6am: Theresa May's future as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservatives was being openly questioned after her decision to hold a snap election disastrously backfired.

    As the June 8 poll ended in a hung parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority in the House of Commons, Mrs May pledged to offer "stability" if the Tories end up as the largest party with the most votes.

    Conservative former minister Anna Soubry said she should "consider her position" and take personal responsibility for a "dreadful" campaign and a "deeply flawed" manifesto after choosing to go to the country three years early in the hope of extending her majority.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to resign, saying she should "go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country".

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

    Live #Vote2017: Scottish Conservative leader 'given gay rights pledge from Theresa May over DUP tie-up'

    Update 5.30am: SNP plans for a second independence referendum have suffered a major setback as the party saw dramatic losses in the General Election, with former first minister Alex Salmond and depute leader Angus Robertson amongst those ousted.

    After making stunning gains in the 2015 election, Nicola Sturgeon's party lost seats to the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

    Ruth Davidson, whose Scottish Conservatives ejected Mr Salmond from Gordon and Mr Robertson from Moray, said her party is enjoying an "historic night".

    She told BBC Scotland: "Indyref2 is dead, that's what we have seen tonight."

    Live #Vote2017: Scottish Conservative leader 'given gay rights pledge from Theresa May over DUP tie-up'

    Ms Sturgeon, who succeeded Mr Salmond as SNP leader and First Minister in 2014, admitted she was "disappointed" by the results, but said she would not make any "rash decisions" on her plan for another independence vote.

    The Tory success in Scotland is in stark contrast to the situation south of the border, with Theresa May facing the prospect of losing her majority in the Commons.

    The First Minister told BBC Scotland: ''This has been a disaster for Theresa May. She called an election clearly very arrogantly thinking she was going to crush the opposition, sweep everybody aside and cruise to a landslide majority.

    ''Her position I think is very, very difficult. We have to wait and see how things shake out. I've always said the SNP would want to be part of a progressive alternative to a Tory government.

    ''I'm disappointed at the SNP losses but I'm pleased that we've won the election.''

    That was echoed by Mr Salmond, who said the SNP would seek to "build a progressive alliance to take this country forward and to avoid the calamity of hard Brexit".

    The former nationalist leader, who was first elected as an MP 30 years ago in 1987, was defeated by Tory Colin Clark.

    In his victory speech, Mr Clark said: "The silent majority have spoken. We're proud to be part of the United Kingdom."

    Mr Salmond blamed a late surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour for the SNP's defeat in many seats, with the nationalists also losing John Nicolson, Mike Weir and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

    Pete Wishart, who was the chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee in the last parliament, held on to his Perth and North Perthshire seat by just 21 votes, with Tory MEP Ian Duncan coming close to ousting him.

    Labour gained a number of seats back from the SNP - with the party making a return to winning ways in Scotland's largest city, taking the seat of Glasgow North East from Anne McLaughlin.

    Ian Murray, who had been the only Labour MP in 2015, retained his Edinburgh South seat with a massively increased majority.

    The Liberal Democrats also enjoyed success in East Dunbartonshire, where former UK government minister Jo Swinson won back the seat she had lost in 2015.

    Mr Salmond said: "The Scottish National Party have lost many fine parliamentarians this evening, and that is a grievous blow to the SNP.

    "But overall the results in Scotland show the SNP will have won a majority of seats in this country and a majority of the vote - something which I suspect the Prime Minister would like to be able to claim in the early hours of this morning but may not be able to do so.

    "So the SNP might well find itself in reduced numbers in the House of Commons, but in a position of very substantial influence indeed.

    "And I know that my colleagues will seek to use that influence to keep the Conservative Party from power and to build a progressive alliance to take this country forward and to avoid the calamity of hard Brexit."

    Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said her party is seeing some "really encouraging results".

    She told BBC Scotland: "Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity message has focused on radically changing our country and who it works for, so it actually delivers right across this country.

    "The SNP vote is crumbling in their heartlands. Look at what's happening in Glasgow; look at what's happening across the west. It's a very bad night for the SNP."

    Liberal Democrat former Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael held on to his Orkney and Shetland seat.

    As he was re-elected, he said the vote across Scotland shows "there's no appetite for a second independence referendum".

    He added: "That is an idea that should be taken off the table."

    Update 5am: Theresa May has said Conservatives will act to ensure "stability" if the Tories are the largest party with the biggest number of votes, as expected.

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

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

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to resign, saying she should "go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country".

    Theresa May was awaiting the real results after an exit poll suggested she was in for a bruising night
    Theresa May was awaiting the real results after an exit poll suggested she was in for a bruising night

    After 325 constituencies had declared, a Press Association forecast had the Tories set to win 325 seats, exactly half of the 650 MPs in the Commons but enough to maintain a working majority if Sinn Fein continues with its practice of not taking any seats they win.

    A BBC analysis, which also took into account the exit poll which first revealed the shocking scale of the Tories' difficulties, suggested Mrs May was heading for 318 seats.

    Accepting victory in Islington North, Mr Corbyn said voters had opted for hope and "turned their backs on the politics of austerity".

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

    Speaking as she was re-elected MP for Maidenhead, Mrs May said: "At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability.

    "If, as the indications have shown and if this is correct, the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do."

    The humiliating result facing Mrs May sparked questions about her future as PM and Conservative leader, after she took the fateful decision to bring forward the election date by three years in the hope of extending her Commons majority to bolster her position in Brexit talks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SNP's woes increased as former leader and ex-first minister Alex Salmond lost his Westminster seat of Gordon to the Conservatives.

    Brexit Secretary David Davis dismissed suggestions that he was a potential future leader, telling the Press Association: "That is behind me, I didn't run last time for a reason - I thought it's for other people now.

    "The simple truth is we have a Prime Minister, she is a very good leader, I'm a big supporter of hers. I'll fight tooth and nail to keep her in place."

    Tories lost economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby in Brighton Kemptown.

    Conservative former minister and prominent Remain campaigner Anna Soubry said that Mrs May must "consider her position".

    Asked if Mrs May could remain as Tory leader, Ms Soubry told the BBC: "That is a matter for her. It is bad. She is in a very difficult place.

    "She's a remarkable and very talented woman and she doesn't shy away from difficult decisions, but she now has to obviously consider her position."

    Ms Soubry made clear that Mrs May must take personal responsibility for a "dreadful" election campaign and a "deeply flawed" manifesto.

    "Theresa did put her mark on this campaign," said Ms Soubry. "She takes responsibility, she always does and I know she will, for the running of the campaign.

    "It was a tightly knit group, it was her group that ran this campaign and look where we are, for God's sake.

    "This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party. We have to take stock and our leader needs to stake stock as well."

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