Defiant May vows to stay on despite UK election blow

British voters failed to deliver a widely expected parliamentary majority for the Conservative party in Thursday's general election, dealing a major blow to Prime Minister Theresa May just days ahead of hard Brexit talks with the EU. "I expect more uncertainty now".

Angela Merkel has said Brexit negotiations should go ahead as scheduled in nine days' time - despite the United Kingdom being plunged into political turmoil by the general election. May said she was in talks with the Democratic Unionists - a socially conservative, pro-British Protestant party in Northern Ireland - on an agreement to "work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom". May focussed on her central message of the "strong and stable leadership" that she can provide for Britain's exit negotiations from the European Union (EU).

Although called as a Brexit election, the campaign was quickly overshadowed by security as two deadly terror attacks, in Manchester and London, struck.

"That's what people voted for last June", she announced defiantly outside 10 Downing Street after meeting with the queen to discuss her new government. She was listening only to a small group of aides, and they failed to get her out and interacting with crowds.

We now have a new House of Commons that is not going to have an extreme Brexit forced down their throats.

This is the first time since the 1990s that Britain has a minority government, in which the governing party can not get measures though Parliament without outside support.

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said: "Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated". But "we know when they must end".

"Do your best to avoid a ´no deal´ as result of ´no negotiations´", Donald Tusk, leader of the EU´s ruling council, wrote in a tweet. "Absolutely", Corbyn told Sunday Mirror newspaper in an interview.

He could struggle to gain enough support given hardline Tory Brexiteers have grown wary of the Remain-backing Chancellor. Davidson also said she had received reassurances from May that the party's deal with the DUP would not involve a rollback of gay rights.

"It was a self-inflicted error, a self-inflicted wound and it was something that was likely born out of a bit of taking the British public for granted", Brian Klaas of the London School of Economics (LSE) told AFP.

In contrast, the opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party gained at least 29 seats in Parliament, has openly shared his misgivings about the U.S. leader. This will ensure Britain's exit from the European Union in March 2019.

For the Conservatives, election results have been shocking since they lost 12 seats of sitting MPs forcing them to go for a coalition government.

Senior figures in the Tory party including Boris Johnson and David Davis - potential replacement leaders - were noticeably silent on Friday morning.

"For me it's a sign that Brexit can be stymied and kicked into the long grass", said Bernstein. Labour said it would not try to reverse the decision to leave the EU, but it does want to retain "the benefits of the single market and customs union".

"If this result plays out, Corbyn has defied all expectations and denied Theresa May a majority".

A "hung parliament" means that no party has an outright majority.

He said that Mays version of a ‘hard Brexit was rejected by the British people, and that Brexit negotiations should now be put on hold.

Barely a month ago, the centre-left party seemed doomed to lose the election, plagued by internal divisions over its direction under veteran socialist Corbyn.

The distraction of ongoing negotiations in London and the strength of the vote for each party in Thursday's election will do little to encourage compromise, according to political analysts.

Eight people were killed near London Bridge on Saturday when three men drove a van into pedestrians and then stabbed revelers in an area filled with bars and restaurants.