Top Aides to U.K. PM Quit After Election Losses*
Pressure mounts on Theresa May as speculation over a leadership challenge grows.
Two of the U.K. Prime Minister’s key advisers have resigned following her Conservative party’s performance in Thursday’s election.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill have been heavily criticized by the British press for their handling of Theresa May’s campaign.
Some reports say they were fired to avoid a potential leadership challenge next week.
The Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority and the Prime Minister’s attempts to form a minority goverment with the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) are coming under fire from the media and her inner circles.
May fell short of the eight seats needed and will now have to rely on the DUP’s 10 MPs to pass legislation.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party won 262 seats, taking pollsters and the government by suprise at the scale of its gains, up 30 seats on the previous election.
In a statement on the party’s website, Hill said the result was a “huge disappointment” caused by “an unexpected surge in support for Labour.”
He also said he accepted responsibility for his part in the campaign and believed the party failed to speak to the voters who decided to vote for the opposition.
While Hill said “It’s been a pleasure to serve in the government”
May has apologised to Conservative MPs who lost their seats in the vote and has announced a minor cabinet reshuffle to try to shore up her power base.
But some within the party are calling for her to go.
There is also said to be a level of disquiet among Conservatives about the link-up with the DUP which opposes same-sex marriage and abortion.
The Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has telephoned the Prime Minister to demand assurances that she is not planning to ditch Tory commitments to LGBT rights in return for DUP votes in parliament.