Theresa May was urged to hold a snap election by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, it has been claimed.
The Prime Minister was reportedly encouraged to call for an early general election in order to boost the Tory majority and make Brexit negotiations easier.
May’s gamble spectacularly backfired when the Conservatives failed to secure a majority, resulting in a hung parliament and leading the PM to seek a controversial deal with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
“It is understood that Juncker had advised May to call an early general election as a result of his concerns that the 17-seat majority she had inherited from David Cameron would not be enough during the pinch points of the negotiations, including over the issue of the UK’s divorce bill, estimated to be as much as €100bn,” reports The Observer, citing an EU source.
The politician from Luxembourg, who has held the top post at one of the EU’s main institutions since 2014, has been a vocal critic of Brexit in the past.
The Prime Minister intends to push ahead with Brexit negotiations, which are due to begin on 19 June, despite the political turmoil resulting from the election.
Meanwhile, an ally of Boris Johnson has been quoted as saying that the Foreign Secretary is “go-go-go” to launch a leadership bid, according to the Mail on Sunday, but the former London Mayor has dismissed the claims as “tripe”.
Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to oust Theresa May from Downing Street using the upcoming Queen’s Speech on 19 June.
The Labour leader believes that without an outright majority in the House of Commons, May’s position is vulnerable and he intends to vote down the Queen’s Speech and table a “substantial amendment” in an attempt to bring down her administration.