Wednesday, 31 January 2018

I'm not a quitter, says prime minister Theresa May amid leadership questions

Theresa May has responded to questions about her future as prime minister, saying: "I'm not a quitter."

Speaking before arriving in China on a trade mission, she referred to Brexit and the "domestic agenda", adding "there is a long-term job to be done".

Mrs May did not address criticism of her from some backbench MPs but added: "First and foremost, I'm serving my country and my party."

She then held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

Afterwards she told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg "we do need to do more" to help people achieve "the British dream" - of each generation having a better future than the last.
And responding to fresh criticism of the government's Brexit strategy, she stressed her determination to reach a good deal with the EU.

Mrs May has come under fire on several fronts recently, with some Tories expressing concern that she might be planning to concede too much ground during negotiations for a deal with the EU.

And earlier she was asked by reporters travelling with her on the Royal Air Force jet to Wuhan, in central China, whether she expected to lead the Conservatives into the next election, amid speculation she could face a leadership challenge.

Mrs May told reporters the government's job was "about getting the best Brexit deal, it's about ensuring that we take back control of our money, our laws, our borders, that we can sign trade deals around the rest of the world".

She added: "We are working on that, but we also alongside that are working on the key issues that matter to people on a day-to-day basis."

Mrs May said the Conservatives "need to ensure that we do speak about the achievements that we've seen".

She highlighted the minimum wage increase, the cut in unemployment figures and the educational attainment gap, stamp duty relief for first-time buyers and GDP growth, saying: "All of these things make a big difference to people's lives on a day-to-day basis."

But she said there was "always more for us to do" on issues such as housing and schools.

BBC      News.