Theresa May’s top aides quit following election disaster to avert leadership challenge

World Today

Theresa May's top aides quit following election disaster to avert leadership challenge

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has bowed pressure from inside her Parliamentary Party and accepted the resignation of two top advisers.

The pair worked at the heart of May’s administration and their departure is seen as a mark of the British Prime Minister’s political fragility following her poor General Election result.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports from London.

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were Theresa May’s closest advisers. Their reportedly caustic style made them enemies and the disastrous election result made them vulnerable.

The ultimatum to May, from reportedly those in her own party, either they go or come Monday there’ll be a leadership challenge. Timothy and Hill have gone.

This is a measure of May’s new fragility since losing her Parliamentary majority, a fragility that will have a huge impact on the Prime Minister’s ability to force through a Brexit deal in her own image.

With a working majority, she had control over her Parliamentary Party, Now, in a minority government, she’s susceptible to rebellion on the backbenches.

In a bid to avert a continuing crisis, May is set to begin talks with the Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland and its 10 MP’s.

Fiercely loyal to the United Kingdom, it’s really not known what the DUP’s price will be for supporting May’s struggling leadership.

In Brussels, there is concern the collapse of a stable government in the UK will impact the start of Brexit talks in just over a week.

But those worries are being downplayed. “When Great Britain is ready to negotiate, we are ready. We have finalized the guidelines, and I assume that Great Britain will respect the negotiations calendar,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

The outcome from this post-election pressure on the U.K. Prime Minister is shrouded in uncertainty – authority diminished and a looming Brexit timetable shutting down options.