Theresa May: I shed a 'little tear' when exit poll emerged on election night

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Theresa May today admitted she wept when her election hopes were shattered on June 8.

The Prime Minister’s confession that she shed “a little tear” came as her minority Government began trying to steamroll Brexit onto the statue books.

“We didn’t see the result that came coming,” she said in an interview marking her year in office.

“When the result came through, it was a complete shock.

“It took a few minutes for it to sort of sink in, what that was telling me. My husband gave me a hug.”

Mrs May, who looked puffy eyed and strained when she went to see the Queen on June 9, said it was “distressing” to see good colleagues losing their seats. 

Admitting she knew the campaign “wasn’t going perfectly”, the PM said she did not change the Tory campaign because she still expected a “better” result.

When asked if she was devastated enough to cry, Mrs May replied: “Yes, a little tear … at that moment.”

But the Prime Minister signalled there would be no major compromises in her drive towards the EU exit doors, despite a chorus of warnings from business groups and many MPs and peers.

And this morning the Government wheeled out the legislative battering ram it plans to use to pound Brexit into law. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will be voted on in the autumn and is designed to give ministers unprecedented powers to change the laws of the land.

But ministers were accused of “not listening” as experts voiced new fears about what the “hard Brexit” embraced by a weakened Mrs May could mean.

Dr Nicola Strickland, President of the Royal College of Radiologists, rejected Government claims that there was no need to worry about cancer treatments being disrupted.

Issuing a fresh statement confirmed their worries, she said: “I’m saying there is a risk and patients deserve some reassurance.”

In an unprecedented warning, eight leaders from associations representing the entire UK and European pharmaceutical sector wrote a joint letter saying vital medicines could be impounded  in warehouses.

It said an “unorderly withdrawal” would  “lead to potential supply disruptions of life-saving medicines”.

Brexit Minister Steve Baker said the Government was “ready” for a fight.

He dismissed the worries about cancer treatments, saying they were “not correct”. Addressing a call  by Lord Hague, the former Tory leader, to stay in Euratom he said it was “not as simple as that”. 

And Mr Baker shrugged aside a warning from the respected Whitehall watchdog Sir Amyas Morse that Government unity could fall apart like a “chocolate orange” at the first tap.

““I think it’s an overdone language,” said the junior minister.

Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, said: “They are listening much more to the Brexit back benchers in the House of Commons.”

Paul Blomfield, Labour’s shadow Brexit minister, said: “The Government claim they’re open to advice but they’re simply not listening.”

Mr Baker said the Bill was designed to “give people certainty, continuity and control”.

He pledged: “Individuals and businesses will know that the day after our exit they face the same laws and rules that they faced the day before.”

But he warned opponents: “This is a time to come together in the national interest.”

Boris Johnson was slapped down again for saying the European Commission could “go whistle” for more money from the UK.

Mr Baker said: “Boris Johnson brings a certain style to our politics” but that David Davis and the PM were “ these negotiations”.

The Government today conceded that the European court will judge most legal cases already started even after Brexit.

In new position papers for round two of UK/EU negotiations next week, it said that where considerable time and resources have been invested in the Court of Justice of the European Union proceedings, “it may well be right that such cases continue to a CJEU decision”.

Mrs May promised to end the European Court’s jurisdiction in the UK as one of her red lines in the talks.

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