Senior UK Cabinet ministers offer support to prime minister

Theresa May has apologised to Tory MPs for the party's election performance, telling them "I got us into this mess I'll get us out of it".

May's Conservatives unexpectedly lost their majority in parliament in Thursday's snap election, causing political chaos ahead of Brexit talks with the European Union, which are scheduled to start next week.

"I don't think we should rush that but I do think if we are going to have a leadership contest in the Conservative Party what we can not do is have another coronation like last summer".

As last week's vote yielded no majority victor, a new speech was required - and the time it would take for that missive to be scrawled upon the thick specialist paper (which is no longer made using animal hides) and sufficiently dried for use was, apparently, a factor in the delay.

British MPs, who are by tradition not named at such meetings, told reporters that there were no dissenting voices and that the party had no appetite for a leadership election.

May's office said Saturday principles of an agreement had been reached, but the two sides later clarified that they are still talking. May's failure to get a majority has undercut her tough Brexit strategy, which had raised fears that Britain was heading for a so-called "hard Brexit", which could potentially see tariffs slapped on British exports to the bloc.

On Monday, she faces members of the Conservatives' 1922 Committee, which can trigger a vote of confidence in a party leader if it receives letters from 15 percent of the party's MPs. The meeting will now be held Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday.

The Evening Standard edited by Tory former chancellor George Osborne, and the Daily Telegraph, have reported that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour MPs to secure cross-party backing for a softer Brexit.

"The people of Britain have had a bellyful of promises and politicking", he wrote in The Sun tabloid.

Though the biggest single victor, they failed to reach the 326-mark they would need to command a parliamentary majority. However, according to The Mirror, she was crestfallen on election night.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the country as her husband looks on after Britain's election at Downing Street in London, Britain June 9, 2017.

Uncertainty over the timing of the Queen's Speech emerged as Mrs May chaired her first Cabinet meeting following the general election.

Two of the Prime Minister's closest advisers who were responsible for devising her disastrous electoral campaign were asked to leave.

Conservative leaders on Monday sought to shift the debate away from May's wounded leadership and onto complex Brexit talks, which are formally set to begin next week.

Brexit Minister David Davis said talks with the European Union may not start on Monday as planned but they would still begin next week.

"The idea that the United Kingdom led by this prime minister and this government can just blunder into negotiations starting one week today, I just don't think it's a credible proposition", she told reporters in London.

Davis suggested the government would focus on the divorce proceedings before moving on to trade.

"Northern Ireland is Brexit collateral damage", said Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and a leader of the Irish republican party, Sinn Fein.

Andrew Hurst, chief executive of industry body One Dance UK, said it was looking forward to working with the new government once in place.

"Overall, we believe that the election outcome will hamper Brexit negotiations and increase fiscal risks, and therefore be negative for the U.K.'s credit profile", Moody's said in a statement.

Following the Conservatives failing to win a majority last week, the organisation is pushing for a "soft" Brexit to secure free trade and the rights of European Union citizens.

  • Leroy Wright