LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted she would lead the Conservative Party into the next general election, in interviews broadcast on Thursday.
Her announcement followed reports that she was preparing to stand down when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.
She told Sky News television there was "absolutely no basis for those reports whatsoever. I’m in this for the long term".
May called a snap general election in June, hoping to extend the centre-right Conservatives’ slim majority and strengthen her hand going into the Brexit negotiations.
But the gamble backfired, she lost her majority and is now propped up by the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists.
Asked by the BBC if it was her intention to lead the Conservatives into the next election -- scheduled for 2022 – she replied, "Yes. I’m here for the long term.
"And it’s crucial. What me and my government are about is not just delivering on Brexit. We are delivering a brighter future for the United Kingdom," she said, during a visit to Japan.
"It is my intention not just to deliver a good Brexit deal for the UK but also to ensure that ’global Britain’ can take its place in the world, trading around the world and that we deal with those injustices domestically that we need to do to ensure that stronger, more global but also fairer Britain for the future."
May could face a tricky time at the annual Conservative Party conference in September.
Some MPs are bristling about her handling of the general election campaign, which saw the party blowing the massive opinion poll lead it held over the Labour main opposition. — AFP