Reports have emerged how British Prime Minister Theresa May wept as the Conservatives’ election night horror unfolded. The humiliated Prime Minister cried before visiting the Queen having earlier welled-up while addressing party activists, it was revealed.
Mrs May was unprepared for the looming disaster – despite one of her top advisers warning her early in the campaign that risked flopping like US politician Sarah Palin in 2008. Ms Palin made a storming start after being picked as Presidential hopeful John McCain’s running mate.
But she quickly faltered, unable to carry on the momentum of a long, gruelling campaign. Mrs May listened to the awkward analysis but changed nothing, according to the Politico website.
Fast forward several weeks and Mrs May was in her constituency home in Maidenhead with husband Philip and aide Fiona Hill when the bombshell exit poll predicting a hung Parliament dropped at 10pm on Thursday.
The PM sat in “stony-faced silence”.
Realising she had squandered the Tories’ hard-won majority, the Tory leader took almost a minute to say anything.
Back in London, there was a “deathly silence” at Conservative Campaign Headquarters where activists blinked in disbelief, according to one account.
One worker is said to have gagged and “keeled over” as the full disaster became apparent, according to The Sunday Times.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had already downed a pint at Uxbridge Conservative Club when the news dropped.
“Hmmm; let’s see how this goes,” he said to a colleague, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
At CCHQ, campaign strategist Sir Lynton Crosby tried to ease early fears among loyal activists.
“He was like ‘what’s everyone doing? You can talk, you can smile’, one worker told Politico.
“Shaken” Mrs May arrived at Tory HQ in Westminster at 4.30a.m.
“When she came in it looked as if she was going to break down in tears,” one of those present said.
May told staff: “It’s not the result wanted but we will try to form a government.”
And she tried to ease officials’ misery, telling them: “You’ve all worked astonishingly hard, I’m incredibly grateful”.
She reassured staff the voters’ judgement was “not a verdict” on them.
And the PM even tried to crack a joke about the state of CCHQ food, saying: “You’ve had to eat too much cheesy pasta!”
Hours later, Mrs May again shed tears before her sobering audience with Her Majesty, it was reported.
“She was crying before she went to the palace,” a source said.
Returning from her meeting with the monarch, the ashen-faced PM addressed the nation from Downing Street and revealed her plan to plough on despite her polling day nightmare.