Britain's May Still to Be PM at Year End: Hammond
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Theresa May will still be British leader at the end of this year, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday.
May's future is unclear after her botched gamble on a snap election left her Conservative Party short of a majority in parliament.
Asked if he believed May would remain premier into 2018, despite presiding over a minority government, Hammond replied, "Yes I do."
"I would remind you that when we formed the coalition (with the Liberal Democrats) in 2010 people... were saying then 'Oh it won't last till Christmas'. But it proved extraordinarily resilient," Hammond said, Reuters reported.
According to the election results, with 649 out of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives won 318 seats, short of the 326 they needed for an outright majority and well down from the 330 seats they had before May's leadership. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party managed to clinch 261 seats.
The voters put the Scottish National Party (SNP) on 35 as the third-biggest group in the new House of Commons, the Liberal Democrats on 12, and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on 10. The pro-Brexit UK Independence Party (UKIP) failed to win a single seat.
As the two main rival parties failed to gain the 326 seats required for an absolute majority, speculations abounded that May would seek the support of Northern Ireland's DUP.
Corbyn, who was among those calling on May to resign after the election results emerged, said that British people have had enough of austerity politics and cuts in public spending, ruling out the potential for deals or pacts with other progressive parties in parliament. He also expressed readiness to serve the country in case May stepped down.