Theresa May to face Conservative Party questioning over poll setback
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 9:54
As the Conservative Party digested the loss of its majority in last week's election, government officials suggested both the announcement of the prime minister's agenda, known as the Queen's Speech, and talks over Britain's divorce from the European Union could be postponed.
The Britons plan to start Brexit talks as scheduled despite the ongoing political turmoil in the country.
It has run successfully - if under some strain because of historical tensions between the two parties - until the resignation of McGuinness, January 9, 2017, over a row between the two parties over a botched green energy scheme originally overseen by Foster, which was supposed to incentivize people to switch to renewable, but which ended in farce when the scheme paid out more than the cost of the fuel, leaving taxpayers with a bill of up to US$486 million.
The chaos has also weighed on the pound, which has plunged nearly two percent since Thursday, and the government may have to delay the announcement of its policy plans to parliament. The meeting will now be held Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday.
The visibly weakened premier denied she was feeling "shell-shocked" after her election gamble backfired. More delays would nearly certainly carry a cost, and there's something to May's stated desire to "get on with the job" - but there's also an edge of desperation to it.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson brushed off claims he was plotting a fresh leadership bid, insisting that he fully supported the Prime Minister.
In Strasbourg where members of the European Parliament are holding the monthly plenary, MEPs seem broadly frustrated and impatient by Britain's domestic politics and the delay they are causing. "Now is the time for delivery - and Theresa May is the right person to continue that vital work".
The Conservative Party fell eight seats short of retaining its parliamentary majority, and is now in talks with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - which won 10 seats - to forge an informal alliance. Traditionally written on vellum, the Queen's Speech is now written on parchment paper in ink, which takes several days to dry, before it is bound into a booklet and signed by the queen - meaning its contents need to be finalized days before the speech is delivered.
Michael Fallon, the Defense Secretary who, for now, remains loyal, served notice Sunday that the PM had to start being more consensual when he said: "We're going to see more collective government".
Britain's descent into political crisis just days before the Brexit talks begin has sapped confidence amongst business leaders and infuriated bosses who were already grappling with the fallout from the vote to leave the EU. She warned her 13 MPs "will vote entirely as they believe they should" in parliament, raising doubts the government could secure enough votes to pass a deal taking Britain out of the single market.
May has a busy schedule ahead, with a cabinet meeting on Monday and talks with French President Emmanuel Macron the following day.
He and other European Union leaders are no doubt keen to know where her problems have left the Brexit negotiations.
May tried to reassert her shattered authority at the weekend by announcing her new cabinet - with no changes among her top team.
The beleaguered prime minister was described as a "dead woman walking" Sunday by former Conservative MP George Osborne, who was sacked as chancellor by May a year ago. They are expected to make demands on Brexit negotiations and any deal with the DUP.
Mr Brady indicated that she would have to ditch much of her controversial election manifesto in a "slimmed down" Queen's Speech on June 19 setting out the new Government's programme.
DUP leader Arlene Foster is due to meet May on Wednesday in order to thrash out the details of that deal, which will likely entail a series of concessions in exchange for DUP support in the Commons.