Britain's PM May to face party lawmakers after election disaster – Nasdaq

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Reuters


* May likely to face criticism and anger
    * Seen surviving as prime minister for now
    * Seeks deal with Northern Ireland's DUP
    * Brexit talks due to start on June 19

    By Michael Holden and Kate HoltonLONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May will
try to convince lawmakers from her Conservative Party on Monday
that she should remain as leader after a disastrous gamble on a
snap election that weakened Britain's hand just days before
formal Brexit talks.
    May looked set to face criticism and anger from Conservative
MPs at a private meeting in parliament over her handling of an
election that lost the party its parliamentary majority.
    The Conservatives won 318 seats out of the 650 in last
Thursday's vote, meaning they now require support to govern and
have chosen the eurosceptic Northern Irish Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP), which has 10 seats, for that. [nL8N1J62LT]
    However, despite the shock result and speculation there
could soon be a leadership election, May's position appeared
safe for at least the immediate days ahead.
    "I don't detect any great appetite amongst my colleagues for
presenting the public with a massive additional dose of
uncertainty by getting involved in a self-indulgent Conservative
Party internal election campaign."," Graham Brady, chairman of
the 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, told BBC TV.
    If she fails at the meeting to reassure lawmakers that she
can govern effectively however her critics are likely to step up
calls for her to go.
    Senior figures, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
who is touted as the favourite to replace May should she be
forced out, have pledged loyalty and called on colleagues to
rally behind her.
    In a further bid to win over disillusioned lawmakers, May
appointed Michael Gove, a long-serving cabinet minister with
whom she has clashed in the past, as environment minister while
two of her closest aides, who many blamed for the election
result, resigned.
    However, George Osborne, a former finance minister who is
now editor of London's Evening Standard newspaper and a vocal
critic of May, said she appeared a "dead woman walking".
    On Tuesday, May is due to meet the DUP leader Arlene Foster
to finalise a deal to ensure support for May's minority
government on major issues.
    Brexit Secretary David Davis said that some policies planned
before the election would be pruned back.

    BREXIT TALKS
    The political turmoil comes a week before Britain is due to
start negotiating the terms of its exit from the European Union
in talks of unprecedented complexity that are supposed to wrap
up by the end of March 2019, when Britain actually leaves.
    That timeline now looks even more ambitious than before, not
least because May's electoral debacle has emboldened those
within her own party who object to her "hard Brexit" approach of
leaving the European single market and customs union.
    "The interpretation that we have put on it ... is that
people voted for three things in essence, control of borders,
control of laws, control of money," Davis told BBC radio.
    "In order to deliver that you can't do that inside the
single market, so what do you do, you try and have the best
possible access from outside."
    Davis also said walking away without securing a deal with
the remaining 27 EU states remained a possibility. [nL9N1IR038]
    The uncertainty has hit business confidence, according to a
survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD). It found a negative
swing of 34 points in confidence in the UK economy from its last
survey in May. [nL8N1J90U6]
    The pound slid to its lowest level for nearly two months
after the vote, but the fall was much less severe than the one
sparked by the Brexit vote in June 2016. On Monday, the currency
was under pressure once again.
    "It is hard to overstate what a dramatic impact the current
political uncertainty is having on business leaders, and the
consequences could - if not addressed immediately - be
disastrous for the UK economy," Institute of Directors director
general, Stephen Martin, said.

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Decision Europe: Full election coverage     cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=72745
GRAPHIC     http://tmsnrt.rs/2pgjH8p
TAKE A LOOK - Overview of election stories     [nUK2017]
BREAKINGVIEWS - Weak government may be just what Britain needs
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 (Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and James Davey;
Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Louise Ireland)
 ((michael.holden@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 3213; Reuters
Messaging: michael.holden.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: BRITAIN ELECTION/ (PIX, TV, GRAPHICS)