PM Theresa May admits shedding 'little tear' over United Kingdom poll result

"I felt devastated really", she told BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett.

"It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through Parliament and is a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal from the European Union", Brexit minister David Davis said in a statement The publication of the bill is the first step in a long legislative process, with no formal debate in parliament expected on Thursday.

May had called the mid-term election on June 8 in the hope of winning a larger majority than the slender one the Conservatives had won in the 2015 election, but ended up losing it, and having to enter into a controversial coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party to stay in power.

"It took a few minutes for it to sink in..."

She said: "There is a job to be done here, over the next few years".

She admitted that she was "devastated" by the result. To be honest with you, I didn't actually watch the exit poll myself - I have a little bit of superstition about things like that.

Asked if she shed a tear when Philip hugged her, May replied: "Yes, a little tear, at that moment".

Facing challenge of Britain's EU exit, May vows to fight on
PM Theresa May admits to 'shedding a tear' after exit polls

"When it came to the actual result there were a lot of people within the party who had been very close to the campaign who were genuinely shocked by the result as it came through", she said.

May during the campaign emphasised her "strong and stable leadership" as Britain headed into Brexit, but she was accused of a robotic performance, relying too much on soundbites.

"You're a human being, you've been through that experience, but I was there as leader of the party and prime minister and had a responsibility then, as we went through the night, to determine what we were going to do the next morning".

However the prime minister did say that the Conservatives "weren't doing enough to get that [their message] across".

Mrs May said the Conservatives should have offered voters a more positive message during the campaign, but added she did not regret holding an early election because it was "the right thing to do at the time".

"It wasn't the case that there was a point in time where it was sort of, suddenly, "We've got to change direction in this campaign, or do this in the campaign rather than what we were doing previously", she said.

  • Eleanor Harrison