Theresa May

Following Thursday’s General Election, speculation surrounds the future of the Prime Minister. The Times says:

Theresa May was being used as a defensive shield by her party yesterday as Tory MPs sought to delay a leadership contest while believing that she could be gone within months.
They acknowledged that the country now had a lame duck prime minister, who was nevertheless charged with the task of beginning Brexit negotiations and pushing the challenging legislative programme through parliament.
Some Tory MPs were looking towards Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary and Amber Rudd, the home secretary, as well as casting round for new blood in the expectation that Mrs May could go within months.
Michael Gove is likely to play a kingmaker role in the coming weeks and months. However, a shattered party repelled the idea of an imminent leadership contest.

The Sun claims there are already mutterings about her future.

CONSERVATIVE grandees last night vowed to oust hapless Theresa May — but not for six months.
Party chiefs agree that the General Election disaster means she cannot survive.
But they also fear a bitter Tory leadership contest could end up making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister instead.
They will delay axing her for up to a year so the crucial Brexit negotiations can begin.
But as the General Election disaster left mortally wounded Mrs May’s authority in pieces, she will have to be ousted after Christmas.

The Mirror claims her ministers will demand she resigns.

Furious Tories angry after a disastrous general election result are piling up to savage Theresa May and demand her resignation.
The Prime Minister called the election in April while riding high in the polls and was seemingly on course to win a huge majority for the Conservative Party.
However, a stunning and unexpected result from the Labour Party has resulted in the Tories failing to gain a majority leaving a hung parliament.
May has vowed not to resign but the Prime Minister is now coming under pressure from Tories furious over a “dreadful campaign”.

The Telegraph reports dissent in the ranks.

Senior Conservatives are tonight taking soundings over whether to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister following her dismal general election performance.
With the Conservatives fighting to run a minority government, senior MPs are concerned that Mrs May now lacks the authority to negotiate a successful Brexit.
Party sources suggested Boris JohnsonAmber Rudd and David Davis were being sounded out as possible replacements. Mrs May insisted she wanted to “get on with the job” while failing to acknowledge the scale of the humiliation she faced in Thursday’s election.

The Mail claims ministers are ‘furious’.

Furious Tory MPs last night threatened to oust Theresa May within six months after her disastrous election campaign.
The party was plunged into civil war after the Prime Minister lost her Commons majority, with MPs aghast at her campaign tactics that resulted in the Tories blowing a 20-point lead over Labour.
They demanded the resignation of Mrs May’s closest aides, and amid reports the PM had to be talked out of resigning early yesterday, some ministers said she would be forced from office in months.
Speculation mounted about potential successors, with Boris Johnson and David Davis both strongly tipped, and rumours of a joint ticket involving Home Secretary Amber Rudd and former Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

The Times reports that the Prime Minister was ‘clinging on to power.

Theresa May was clinging to power today but at the mercy of her cabinet, opponents in her party and the ten Democratic Unionist Party MPs she needs to form a minority government.
A diminished prime minister was forced to promise Philip Hammond — the chancellor she was planning to sack — a greater say over Brexit as she faced up to the realities of having lost her absolute majority in an election she was under no pressure to call.
The results put the Tories on 318 seats, down 13 and well short of the 326 needed to be sure of governing alone. Jeremy Corbyn also defied predictions to end with 262 seats, up 32.

And the Independent claims there will not be much of a reshuffle.

Theresa May’s much-anticipated reshuffle started with a whimper as she revealed all of the senior members in her Cabinet would remain in their jobs.
Downing Street released a statement on Friday afternoon announcing Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, were remaining in post.
Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, and David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, will also keep their jobs.

Will Boris finally get his long-cherished dream of becoming Prime Minister? The Mirror speculates.

Boris Johnson was installed as the immediate favourite to take over from Theresa May today if she is forced to step down after her election humiliation.
The Tory leader has vowed to stay on and try to form a government despite failing to win a majority in the general election.
But the knives are out for her in some circles.
If the Tory leader struggles to assert her hugely diminished authority in the coming weeks and months, a leadership contest could be triggered.
But he had to abandon the bid after being knifed by fellow Brexiteer Michael Gove.
Now, there could once again be an opening in No 10 following the Prime Minister’s spectacular failure to win a majority.

Boris is also mentioned by the Sun.

BORIS Johnson this morning refused to say whether he would still support Theresa May as Prime Minister after he quickly emerged as favourite to replace her as Tory leader.
The Foreign Secretary would only say it was “early days” when asked if he was supportive of the PM, as discontent with her leadership grew after a disastrous election night in which the Tories lost their majority.
With the Tories in turmoil, Mr Johnson said: “Early days, it’s early days. Everybody should contain themselves”.

And the Express says there’s going to be a revolution within the party.

THERESA May’s future as leader was under scrutiny last night after losing her Commons majority.
Tory activists demanded an “internal revolution” to give grass roots members more power – starting with a leadership election which could see rivals stand to replace the Prime Minister.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis were both names being mentioned as was that of Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
The Bow Group Conservative think-tank urged the party to hold a leadership contest within a year and consider reforms including five-yearly leadership contests.
It said activists should be given a conference vote on policy, to inject democracy and rejuvenate falling membership. 

Brexit

But how will the General Election result affect Brexit? The Times claims the EU will not wait for the Tories to sort themselves out.

Brussels yesterday ruled out giving Theresa May more time to negotiate Britain’s departure from the EU as George Osborne, the former chancellor, declared that a hard Brexit was “in the rubbish bin”.
With Brexit talks due to begin in ten days Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the EU’s two most senior officials, warned Mrs May that the clock would keep ticking on the two-year exit process begun when she triggered Article 50 in March.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said she wanted talks to begin promptly and believed Britain would stick to the timetable.
There is dismay in Brussels that valuable negotiating time will be lost and EU preparation wasted if Mrs May changes her Brexit plans.

The Express also says there will be no delay.

WESTMINSTER’S hung parliament chaos will not delay the crunch talks about Britain’s EU exit, Theresa May vowed today.
As shock waves from the general election reverberated around Europe, the beleaguered Prime Minister was forced to reject claims from Brussels that the negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the bloc should be delayed.
Senior Eurocrats suggested the incoming government should be given extra time to adjust to the shattering blow of the vanished Tory majority before the first head-to-head wrangle begins.
And some anti-Brussels campaigners urged Mrs May to quit and make way for a fresh prime minister to lead the wrangle with EU officials.
But Mrs May insisted she will stick to the timetable of starting the Brexit talks a week on Monday.

She has been warned not to delay talks, says the Independent.

Theresa May has been warned by EU officials that the clock is ticking on Brexit negotiations, while others openly mocked her for “yet another own goal” following the calamitous result for the Conservatives at the general election.
“I thought surrealism was a Belgian invention,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, as he responded to the result that left Britain with a hung parliament.
He continued: “Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May. This result will make the already complex negotiations even more complicated. I hope the UK will soon have a stable government to start negotiations. This is not only about the UK, but also about the future of Europe.”

But is the situation really chaotic as the EU has claimed in the Mail?

European leaders last night accused Theresa May of plunging the UK – and Brexit negotiations – into chaos.
Some politicians in Brussels even suggested they may try to halt a deal if she does not stand down.
EU chiefs, many of whom had secretly hoped the Tory leader would score a handsome election victory to boost the chances of reaching a Brexit deal swiftly, criticised her poll gamble.
In a clear attempt to take the upper hand as Mrs May scrambled to form a government, they piled on pressure by warning that the ‘clock is ticking’.

The Mirror also mentions a delay.

Brexit talks could be delayed following a shock election result which left the UK with a hung parliament.
Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier said talks on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will begin “when the new UK government is ready”.
The comment suggests Mr Barnier is ready to push back the opening of official negotiations, which were expected to begin on June 19.

And the Express claims the Tories’ pact with the DUP could lead to a ‘soft Brexit’.

THERESA May’s much-needed alliance with Ireland’s Democratic Union Party (DUP) could put hard Brexit at risk as a shock letter reveals a major clash is in the pipeline.
While Brexiteers breathed a sigh of relief when Theresa May confirmed she would seek to partner up with the DUP, Express.co.uk has unearthed a shocking letter which shows the party’s real motives and view on Brexit.
The letter written in August, penned by then First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster and her then deputy Martin McGuinness, makes numerous demands to maintain ties with the European Union (EU). They included freedom of movement rights and trade links.

Nigel

There’s someone who would have something to say about that, reports the Express.

NIGEL Farage has vowed to make a return to frontline politics after he vowed to play a “key role” in the campaign to save Brexit after the Ukip vote collapsed on Thursday.
The former Ukip leader refused to rule out the possibility of leading the party after his successor Paul Nuttall quit following a disastrous showing at the polls.
Defending Mr Nuttall’s record, Mr Farage said: “I don’t think Paul did anything wrong at all, he didn’t have time to establish himself with the public.”
He added: “I would not lay any blame on Paul Nuttall whatsoever.”
Asked if he would return as leader, Mr Farage said: “Whether leading or playing a prominent role is perhaps a different question.”

And following Paul Nuttall’s resignation, Westmonster also reports the potential return of our former leader.

Brexit legend and driving force behind the Leave vote, Nigel Farage, has confirmed that he IS considering returning once again as the Leader of UKIP after Paul Nuttall resigned yesterday following the election.
Writing in The Telegraph today, Farage has said that he is “pondering” whether to stand, weighing up the huge internal reform that the party requires.
He points out how so many Leave voters will be “furious” if the UK does not leave the single market and the customs union as is now being hinted, arguing that Theresa May’s hash of an election campaign may have “imperilled” Brexit.
With the country now led by a wounded, Zombie Prime Minister and negotiations with Brussels fast approaching, could Nigel make a dramatic return to the UKIP frontline?

EU

Comments on our General Election by our Continental neighbours are reported by Breitbart.

German EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has turned the timetable screws even more on Britain, saying negotiations on its exit from the European Union must actually be finished by October next year, instead of March 2019, to allow the 27 remaining nations to approve the deal.
Oettinger said that “time for Brexit negotiations is getting tight” and added that “they must be closed in October 2018” to allow for the complicated approval process in the member states to run its course ahead of the official two-year deadline.
The two years was already seen as a tight proposition; slashing another six months off would make it even tougher.

And other leaders have commented, reports Breitbart.

Leaders across Europe have been reacting to the news that the Conservatives have lost their majority, pitching the country back into hung Parliament territory.
Unsurprisingly the main concern on the continent is how the result will impact Brexit. With negotiations due to begin in just under two weeks, EU leaders have been urging the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, to get her house in order as fast as possible.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk urged the British to “do your best to avoid “no deal”, a theme he followed up in a letter of congratulations to Theresa May.
“Our shared responsibility and urgent task now is to conduct the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in the best possible spirit, securing the least disruptive outcome for our citizens, businesses and countries after March 2019,” he wrote, adding: “The timeframe set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose.”

Social media

The Mail looks at how the Conservatives came out of the election so disastrously.

On social media, fake news and computer-generated images are increasingly used in political campaigning.
A recent survey by ICM revealed 52 per cent of British adults were struggling to tell the difference between real and fake news in the run up to the general election.
Grassroots group Labour Future, which campaigns on behalf of Labour, appeared to be trying to scare people away from voting Conservative when it shared on Facebook a mock poster bearing the official logos of Public Health England and the NHS.
It read: ‘Have you bought your NHS insurance? From January 2018 the NHS will no longer be a free service. You and your family may be eligible for minimum health coverage for £4,500 a year.
‘Don’t put it off. Don’t put your family at risk’.

And Breitbart also claims the young vote was a significant factor.

Labour won a strong majority of the seats where turnout increased by more than 5 per cent, with roughly 70 per cent of 18 – 24-year-olds voting nationwide, according to early estimates.
Thursday night, for the fist time in decades, younger voters appear to have been overrepresented in contrast with previous elections, with turnout rising to its highest level in 20 years.
The overall turnout is estimated to be 68.7 per cent – up 2.6 per cent on 2015. The youth turnout, meanwhile, was around three points higher than the overall – up around 27 per cent on 2015 to approximately 70 per cent, the
Metro  and  others report.
In the last four general elections – 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2015 – apathy was commonplace and youth turnout hovered around 40 per cent.
In the last general election, a year and a half ago, just 43 per cent of 18 to 24s voted. In the European Union (EU) referendum, turnout amongst this group rose to just 64 per cent.

NHS

In non-political news, the Guardian reports further problems in the NHS.

Growing numbers of hospitals are forcing cancer patients to wait longer than they should for vital NHS treatment, official figures show.
In April the NHS failed to meet three key targets that set out the maximum length of time patients should wait before receiving treatment.
They were among several missed targets for many different types of care, which left hospital bosses warning they are “struggling to cope” with an unprecedented demand for care while facing staffing and financial problems.
Hospitals failed to ensure that the required 93% of patients with suspected cancer got to see a specialist within two weeks of urgent referral by a GP for only the second time since records began in 2009. Just 92.6% of patients got to see a consultant on time in April.
A total of 104,487 people had to wait longer than two weeks in the year to April, NHS England’s performance data shows.

Dale Farm 2

And it seems members of the travelling community have been given the right to remain on Green Belt land, says the Mail.

A High Court judge has allowed travellers to stay at a sprawling camp nicknamed ‘Dale Farm II’ in a decision slammed as ‘appalling’ by local residents.
Mr Justice Rabinder Singh QC controversially changed an injunction to let travellers remain on the plot across Green Belt land in Wickford, Essex.
His ruling came after more than 700 tonnes of building material was illegally delivered and laid on the site by a cavalcade of unmarked lorries.
Locals fear more work is imminent with more than 50 families expected to pitch up.
The site is roughly 3.5 miles away from the infamous Dale Farm which cost Basildon Council more than £7million to clear after a pitched eviction battle.

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