LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she shed “a little tear” over the general election result which saw the Conservatives lose their majority.
May told Emma Barnett on Radio 5 Live on Thursday morning that “I felt devastated” over the result.
“I knew the campaign wasn’t going perfectly, but still the messages we were getting… were that we were going to get a better result than we did,” she said.
In her first major broadcast interview since the shock general election result, where the Conservatives lost thirteen seats, the prime minister said: “We didn’t see the result that came coming.”
May said that she never thought about resigning: “I didn’t consider stepping down, there was a responsibility to ensure the country had a government.”
However the prime minister did say that the Conservatives “weren’t doing enough to get that [their message] across.”
Watch May: “I shed a little tear”
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) July 13,2017
This follows an interview published in The Sun on Thursday where she gave the biggest hint yet that she might not be prime minister going into the next election, saying: “What I want to do is just recognise that there is a job to be done here, over the next few years. I want to get on with doing that job.”
In a veiled attack on former prime minister David Cameron, she said it “would be easy to walk away and leave somebody else to do it,” saying she felt she had to stay in Downing Street.
When challenged over the government’s confidence and supply deal with the DUP, May said she was not concerned by being partners with the DUP: “We were very clear that the Conservative Party would not row back,” on equality issues.
A number of senior Conservative figures reportedly want the prime minister to stand down and hand over to a successor once Article 50 talks with the European Union conclude in March 2019. A ConservativeHome survey published earlier this month found that over half of Conservative Party members believe May should quit before the next election, which is currently scheduled to take place in 2020.