Theresa May has finally apologised to Conservative Party members who lost their seats in yesterday’s general election.
The Tories suffered a net loss of 12 seats, leaving them unable to secure a majority, leading to a hung parliament.
The Prime Minister said the unseated MPs – including eight ministers – had not deserved to be ousted as she saw her Commons majority wiped out.
Among the losers was Ben Gummer, author of the controversial Conservative Party manifesto.
Earlier, following an audience with the Queen, Mrs May said she would seek to lead a minority government supported by the Democratic Unionists (DUP).
While May has vowed to stay on as PM, she made no mention of the losing Tory candidates in her first post-election speech, which took place outside 10 Downing Street early Friday afternoon.
She has since expressed the regret she feels for the members of her party who were unable to cling onto their seats.
“Well of course as I said many times during the campaign, I had wanted to achieve a larger majority. But that was not the result that we secured,” May told Sky News.
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“And I’m sorry for all those candidates and hardworking party workers who weren’t successful, but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs and ministers who contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats”.
The shock election result has led to intense pressure on the PM with speculation growing that she will be unable to remain at helm.
“What the country needs more than ever is certainty, and having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons,” she said in a statement on the steps of No 10.
“As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular.
“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years, and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.”
Earlier on Friday, the odds on Boris Johnson becoming the next Prime Minister plummeted as he repeatedly failed to publicly back Theresa May as leader. The Foreign Secretary stuck to vague responses or simply stayed silent when quizzed by reporters as to whether May should remain in 10 Downing Street.
Meanwhile, ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston took to social media to tell of a conversation he had with a leading Tory MP about Prime Minister Theresa May.
“Senior Tory MP: “We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us,” said Peston.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called all Theresa May to resign following the unprecedented election result.