Theresa May's top advisors quit after election failure

Theresa May's top advisors quit after election failure

Theresa May's top advisors quit after election failure

British Prime Minister Theresa May's two closest advisers, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, resigned today after taking responsibility for the election debacle for the Conservative Party which failed to get a simple majority.

A Tory spokesperson also confirmed Fiona Hill has stood down from her role as Mrs May's joint chief of staff.

But former party leader Iain Duncan Smith said a leadership contest now would be a "catastrophe". Timothy said he takes full responsibility for his role in the campaign and its failure.

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, the Downing Street aides who were infamous for running nearly every aspect of the prime minister's political operation, announced their resignations on Saturday afternoon.

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen told LBC: "Frankly, if a leader picks people who advise them so badly, and can not see that they are being advised so badly, then that tells me, I'm afraid, that that's not the leader that we need".

Much will of course be determined by who Mrs May picks as their replacements, but it's too early to say how comfortable she will be surviving without them.

Theresa May was attempting to shore up her position in Number 10 by completing her Cabinet after a humiliating showing in the General Election left her authority as Prime Minister weakened.

However he rejected "bizarre media reports" that he had personally overseen a bungled social care policy in the manifesto.

"Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already called on May to resign, saying 'Politics has changed" as Britons had rejected her policies of "austerity".

May's party won 318 seats, eight short of the 326 they needed for an outright majority.

Theresa May rejects calls to resign after stunning loss
Labour won 262 seats in the general election, but the Conservatives remain the largest party in Parliament with 318 seats. Steven Fielding, a professor of politics at the University of Nottingham, called her "a zombie prime minister".

"I felt what the Prime Minister needs when you're going through a tough time like negotiating Brexit is diplomats, not street fighters". But after the election gamble backfired the Conservatives have had to begin talks with the Democratic Unionist Party in order to form a government.

However, in a scathing article published online in the Times, former Downing Street director of communications Katie Perrior lambasted the ex-chiefs of staff for their "rude, abusive [and] childish behaviour" and for measuring success by "how many enemies they had clocked up".

On Brexit, the DUP supports leaving the European Union but opposes a return to a "hard" border with Ireland - which could happen if May carries through her threat to walk away from the talks rather than accept a "bad deal".

An online petition in objection to the Tories and DUP forming a minority government has gathered more than 440,000 signatures.

She inherited a 17-seat majority in the Commons, but called the snap vote to take advantage of opinion polls putting her on course for a landslide.

Hill was reportedly involved in internal rows, including one with Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland, while Timothy helped draft the Tory manifesto.

She went on to work for a lobbying firm before returning to Government - and having reverted to her birth name after a divorce - to link up with Mrs May and Mr Timothy again in Downing Street last summer.

Fiona Hill, in turn, said that she was pleased to work with Teresa May, and expressed confidence that the Prime Minister will remain in office, despite the results of the election.

The adviser takes the fall but Theresa May is the one responsible for her own defeat.

He urged Tory MPs to "get behind" May but said nothing should be allowed to get in the way of the process of forming a government and beginning Brexit talks.

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