Calls for May to go after gamble backfires

Calls for May to go after gamble backfires
Calls for May to go after gamble backfires
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Theresa May should consider her position after her snap election gamble failed, a Tory former minister has said.

Anna Soubry said Mrs May is "in a very difficult place" following a "dreadful campaign".

Another Tory MP, Philip Davies, said the Conservatives had made "a bit of a pig's ear" of the campaign and the manifesto "wasn't very good".

Former business minister Ms Soubry, who held her Broxtowe seat, told the BBC that Mrs May's position is "bad".

"She is in a very difficult place. She is a remarkable and she's a very talented woman and she doesn't shy from difficult decisions. But she now has to obviously consider her position."

The focus on Mrs May - "she put her mark absolutely on this campaign" - rather than the Conservatives as a party increased the pressure on her.

"It's a dreadful night. I've lost some excellent and remarkable friends - proper, sound, moderate Conservatives," Ms Soubry said.

"This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party and we need to take stock and our leader needs to take stock as well."

The manifesto U-turn on a social care cap was a "very serious blow".

"It did not make her look the strong and stable Prime Minister and leader that she had said she was. That was a very difficult and very serious blow, I think, in terms of her own credibility."

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said it would be a "grave error" for the party to embark on another leadership contest.

"We need to, first of all, find out what the result is, what the final result - whether or not it is feasible for us to put a government together, we don't know that yet," he told the BBC.

"The party has to meet, they have to talk to her and decide whether or not this is what she wants to do and if she does want to do it then, frankly, we need that stability at the moment."

But he accepted "it's clearly not going to be business as usual"