Under-pressure May to apologise for poll setback

MANCHESTER: Under-pressure British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May said she planned to apologise to party activists for a poor performance in a snap election in June.
May called the election in a bid to strengthen her control over Brexit and boost her parliamentary majority.
But she surprisingly lost her majority, forcing the Conservatives to form a minority government that relies on support in key votes from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
“I have been very clear that I called the election, I led the election, I take the responsibility and I am sorry that some very good members of parliament lost their seats and some very good candidates didn’t gain seats,” May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
“I have spoken to my members of parliament and I will be speaking later today to the party activists,” May told the broadcaster ahead of Sunday’s opening of the Conservatives’ annual conference in Manchester.
She admitted that the Conservatives must “learn lessons” from the election, in which left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn performed better than expected, partly buoyed by younger voters.
Facing protests in Manchester and muted dissent from some senior Conservatives, May targeted young voters on Sunday with a pledge to freeze student tuition fees and address problems in Britain’s housing market.
“It does worry me that we have a generation of young people who fear that in their future they’ll be worse off than their parents,” she said in the latest of several interviews this year with The Sun.
“So I will be focusing more on how we are delivering on that mission for people,” May told the popular right-wing tabloid, citing the problems of buying a first home and repaying student loans.
May said people had “voted for change” in Britain in last year’s Brexit referendum. “That’s what our conference will be about — recognising the need for change and looking at how we can deliver it,” she said.
Many eyes are on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is still widely thought to be a potential challenger to May despite his recent protestations of loyalty. — dpa