London, July 13: British Prime Minister Theresa May admitted for the first time on Thursday that she shed tears after learning that she had lost her overall majority in last month’s General Election as she felt “devastated”.
May went into the June 8 snap election in a bid to boost her small 17-seat majority in the House of Commons but instead her Conservative Party only won 318 seats, eight short of the numbers needed to command even a one-seat majority.
May told BBC in an interview that she did not listen herself to the result of the poll as she had a “little bit of a superstition about things like that” and instead her husband, Philip May, tuned in to watch the announcement on television.
“It came as a complete shock when Philip told me,” she said in the interview.
“It took a few minutes for it to sink in. We didn’t see that result coming. My husband gave me a hug,” she added.
May said that she did not think of resigning, adding she felt she had a responsibility to the country.
The Conservatives “were the only party that could govern”, she told the BBC.
The Prime Minister said she knew her election campaign had not been perfect, but all the indications were that she would increase her Commons majority. May started the campaign six weeks before voting day, holding a 20-point lead over her main rival, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
The result of the exit poll, which turned out to be accurate, caused gasps of shock around the country, with the impact of the result still continuing as May negotiates Britain’s exit from the EU.
May was forced to do a deal costing a billion pounds with the small Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to ensure their 10 MPs prop up the Conservative government on key votes in Parliament.
Asked if she could guarantee having the numbers to get Brexit through the Commons, May said the first thing was to get a good Brexit deal.
She added that the DUP deal means they will support her Brexit legislation, but she hoped MPs from all political parties will back Brexit.
The interview marked the day, a year ago, when May walked into 10 Downing Street after succeeding David Cameron as Prime Minister.