Jeremy Corbyn has called for Theresa May to resign as prime minister after she looks set to have lost her majority in the House of Commons.
Speaking after winning re-election to his Islington North seat in the early hours of Friday morning, the Labour leader said:
“The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go, actually.”
May’s decision to hold a snap general election, which she repeatedly denied she was planning, appears to have spectacularly backfired.
As she walked into her count in Maidenhead, Sky News’ Kay Burley asked her: “Are you going to resign prime minister?”
Accepting victory in her constituency of Maidenhead, the prime minister indicated she would attempt to form a government.
She said said that if Conservatives had won the most seats and most votes, “it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability, and that is what we will do”.
Based on the BBC/Sky News/ITV exit poll, the Conservatives are currently projected to win just 322 seats. Labour are on course to win 261, the SNP 32 and the Lib Dems 13.
If accurate, it would leave the Tories the largest party in a hung parliament.
Corbyn said the snap election, which May repeatedly said she would not hold, “was called for the prime minister to gain a larger majority in order to assert her authority”.
“The election campaign has gone on for the past six weeks – I’ve travelled the whole country. I’ve spoken at events and rallies all over the country,” he said.
“And you know what? Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is, people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics, they’ve had quite enough of cuts in public expenditure, under-funding our health service, under-funding our schools, our education service, and not giving our young people the chance they deserve in our society.”
“And I’m very, very proud of the campaign that my party has run, our manifesto, for the many, not the few. And I’m very proud of the results that are coming in all over the country tonight of people voting for hope for the future, and turning their backs on austerity.”