SPEAKING in central London yesterday morning, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on PM May to resign.
He said: ‘The prime minister called this 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’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country.
‘I think it’s pretty clear who won this election. We are ready to do everything we can to put our programme into operation. There isn’t a parliamentary majority for anybody at the present time, the party that has lost in this election is the Conservative Party, the arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost. I think we need a change.’
Corbyn said Labour will put forward an alternative programme: ‘When a government puts forward the Queen’s Speech, we will put forward our point of view, we are of course ready to serve.’ Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Today programme he was ‘disappointed’ that Labour had not secured an overall majority.
But he added: ‘We have laid the foundations for a minority government, and then eventually a majority government. The instability that we now have is not from the Labour Party or other parties, it’s the Conservative Party itself.
‘If we can form a minority government, I think we could have a stability government, not through deals or coalitions but policy by policy. That would prevent another election, because I think people have had enough of elections.’
Professor Richard Toye, Head of History at the University of Exeter said: ‘There is no constitutional bar to Labour forming a minority government even though it is not the largest party in the House of Commons. That, indeed, is exactly what happened in 1923-4, after the Conservative Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, lost his majority in a snap election.
‘The Conservatives got the greatest number of votes (42.6% to Labour’s 41%) and the largest number of MPs (258 to Labour’s 191). However, when parliament met, the Liberals declined to sustain Baldwin in office. As a consequence, Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Minister. His government survived, reasonably successfully, for ten months.’