Theresa May took the blame for the Tory election disaster tonight as she appeared in front of Conservative MPs for the first time.
As she battled to cling to No 10 after her gamble on an early election backfired spectacularly, the PM said: ‘I got us into this mess and I’m going to get us out of it.’
The Prime Minister repeatedly apologised to her MPs as she insisted she had served the party since she was 12 and would stay on ‘as long as you want me to’.
Mrs May was greeted to the meeting with around 25 seconds of table-banging and a brief cheer as she arrived at the crunch meeting in Parliament. She left more than an hour later to applause.
But amid fury from her MPs at the ‘dreadful’ campaign the reception was far from the hero’s welcome she might have enjoyed had she returned with a healthy majority.
Mrs May’s appearance in front of her MPs came hours she met her reshuffled Cabinet for the first time.
The Premier was declared to have ‘overwhelming support’ from her ministers to carry on as the party closed ranks in the aftermath of the shock election results.
Theresa May (pictured leaving No 10 tonight) took the blame for the Tories election disaster tonight as she appeared in front of Conservative MPs for the first time
Mrs May promised her MPs she would stay on and serve for as long as they want her as she apologised for the calamitous decision to call an election
Mrs May’s motorcade swept into the Palace of Westminster tonight (pictured) as she headed to the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs
At the tense meeting, one MP said May was ‘contrite’ and added: ‘There wasn’t much of the MayBot.’
She told the ’22 she had been a Conservative all her life, and was dedicated to doing the right thing for the party.
Asked if the MPs had ‘full confidence’ in Mrs May, the backbencher replied: ‘The party has confidence in her.’
Another Tory backbencher said the reception for the PM was ‘good’.
Mrs May apparently said sorry several times during her speech, which was interspersed by MPs banging on desks.
She apologised for colleagues losing their seats, and said she took responsibility for the calamitous decision to call an early election.
And at tonight’s meeting, Mrs May vowed: ‘I will serve you as long as you want me to.’
The Tory leader took dozens of questions at the session and departed the meeting to applause.
She offered ‘support’ to MPs who lost their seats – which the Telegraph tonight said was interpreted by some as an offer of financial help.