Britain’s Press Association, quoting two unnamed sources from the meeting, said May told lawmakers at a closed-door session that she admitted she was the one who “got us into this mess” and vowed that she would be the one who will “get us out of it”.
Ruth Davidson, the influential leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, which voted heavily to remain in the European Union previous year and where May’s party won rather than lost seats on Thursday, called for a deal that put “economic growth first” and said after the meeting with May that the Brexit policy could change.
But publicly, at least, key Conservative figures are calling on the party’s lawmakers to rally behind the embattled leader and end the political chaos ahead of the crucial Brexit talks.
British MPs, who are by tradition not named at such meetings, told reporters that there were no dissenting voices and that the party had no appetite for a leadership election.
The prime minister’s most prominent potential rival, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, sought to quash any suggestion that she would be ousted imminently. Britain’s embattled leader hopes to hammer out a deal with the DUP’s leader Arlene Foster today to keep her Conservative Party in government.
“There can be no backsliding from the objectives the PM set out in the [election] campaign – taking back control of our laws, our borders, our cash; but also ensuring that we have a great new partnership with the European Union that allows us to trade more freely and enthusiastically than ever”, Mr Johnson wrote in the right-wing tabloid The Sun.
But after gambling away a majority in parliament in an election she did not need to call, Mrs May needs to unite a disillusioned party around her to not only support her in the Brexit talks but also to strike a deal with a small Northern Irish party that will enable her to stay in power.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, which saw its number of parliamentary seats and share of the vote increase, said there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after Thursday’s vote produced no clear victor.
While the bruising election campaign had not gone well, he wrote, “May led a campaign that inspired 13.7 million people to vote Conservative, in the biggest total tally of Tory votes since the days of Margaret Thatcher”.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams also criticised the proposed Conservative-DUP deal and claimed it further undermined British claims of neutrality in Northern Ireland’s affairs.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said British Prime Minister Theresa May was not sobbing over Thursday’s failed election gamble when he met her after the vote.
Foster, who is due to meet May on Tuesday to finalize a deal, said the DUP would also be “mindful of our responsibility to help bring stability to the nation at this time of challenge”.
May’s willingness to take blame for the election loss Monday appeared to have won her favor from her party colleagues, who said she had effectively ended talk of an imminent coup.
Additional delay may be caused by the fact the speech read by the sovereign is written on goatskin parchment paper, a long-lasting archival paper which contains no actual goatskin, but requires several days for the ink to dry.
May also restored former Justice Secretary Michael Gove to the Cabinet in another move created to show she was willing to listen to critics.
She is due to face MPs later Monday, where she could face more demands to quit over her lacklustre campaign and decision to call the election in the first place.
Ms Davidson suggested the Government may shift its priority from cutting immigration to ensuring a good deal for business and the economy.
Nevertheless, the shock election results will have a long-lasting impact on United Kingdom politics and Brexit – with many betting that a new election won’t be far away.
“They would rather risk peace in Northern Ireland than do the proper thing which is to say ‘you know what, I lost, I resign.’ At best, it’s foolish and stupid”.