Theresa May should resign following disastrous Tory election, says Tim Farron

Liberal Democrat leader also says Brexit negotiations should be put on hold

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Indy Politics

Theresa May must resign as Prime Minister following her poor performance in the general election, Tim Farron has said. 

Speaking on Friday morning after his party added four seats to its tally, the Liberal Democrat leader accused Ms May of being "arrogant and vain" and said if she had "an ounce of self respect" she would step down.

"She should consider her future - and then, for once, she should consider the future of our country," he told activists at the party’s headquarters in London.

Mr Farron said the Tory leader had laid out an “extreme” vision for Brexit which had been roundly rejected by the electorate.

He said Brexit negotiations should be put on hold amid the confusion of a hung parliament.

It was a bruising night for Ms May as voters shocked political pundits and pollsters by delivering a surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

While the Tories gained 5.5 per cent of the vote share, the party lost 12 seats, leaving the Prime Minister humiliated.

The Lib Dems will now have 12 MPs in Parliament, up from eight before the election, although they dropped by half a percentage point on share of the vote. 

Labour saw its vote share climb almost 10 per cent, increasing the party's presence in the Commons by 29.

Mr Farron said EU exit talks were "about to get very real" and warned the "consequences will be felt by every single person in this country".

"It is simply inconceivable that the Prime Minister can begin the Brexit negotiations in just two weeks' time,” he added.

"The negotiations should be put on hold until the Government has reassessed its priorities and set them out to the British public.

"The British people have a right to expect that our Prime Minister will explain to them what it is that she seeks to achieve."

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Mr Farron also paid tribute to the former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour's Jared O Mara with a majority of 2,125.

He continued: "The referendum showed us to be a dangerously divided country.

"This election has highlighted those divisions in Technicolor: young against old, rich against poor, north against south, urban against rural.

"If we are to have any chance at healing, at coming together, we must ask ourselves some tough questions."