OT Minister Bryant may be out of post
Talks between senior Conservatives
and Liberal Democrats continued late into Friday as the parties tried to broker
a deal to form the next government.
A day after the polls closed, it
remains unclear who will lead the country after the general election delivered
a hung Parliament.
David Cameron approached the Lib
Dems after the Tories won the most seats but finished 20 short of a majority.
Labour leader Gordon Brown also
says he is prepared to talk to the Lib Dems.
Leaving the Cabinet Office late on
Friday, after hour-long talks with Lib Dem counterparts, the Conservative’s
William Hague said: “We’ve had an initial meeting. That’s all there is to
say at the moment.”
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said
nothing to the press when he left his party’s central London HQ later.
His energy spokesman Simon Hughes
said: “Things are going properly. Things are going carefully. I am not
going to speculate. You’ll just have to wait.”
Talks are expected to continue on
Saturday, when Lib Dem MPs are also expected to meet to discuss Mr Cameron’s proposals.
Results from the 649 constituencies
contested on 6 May showed the Tories had secured 306 seats. It leaves the party
just short of the 326 needed for an outright majority, with the Thirsk and
Malton seat – where the election was postponed after the death of a candidate –
still to vote.
Labour finished with 258 MPs, down
91, the Lib Dems 57, down five, and other parties 28. The Conservatives got
36.1 per cent of votes (up 3.8 per cent), Labour 29.1 per cent (down 6.2 per
cent) and the Lib Dems 23 per cent (up 1 per cent).
Past practice under Britain’s
unwritten constitution involves the sitting prime minister in a hung Parliament
having the right to make the first attempt at forming a ruling coalition.
But Mr Cameron said Mr Brown had
“lost his mandate to govern” after the Conservatives won the most
votes and the most seats.
And Mr Clegg said he believed the
result gave the Tories the right to seek to govern first.
Although he won re-election in Wales Thursday
night, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Chris Bryant may not
retain his position as Overseas Territories Minister when Britain’s new
parliament comes in office.
All election results had not come in by early
Friday, Cayman Islands time. However, it appeared that the UK was headed toward
what’s known as a “hung parliament” – meaning no one political party has a
majority control of government.
What effect the UK election results’ would have on
Cayman was not immediately known. Observers said it was likely political
wrangling over the form of the new government would take a few weeks to sort
out, although financial pressures could force the formation of a government
Cayman is awaiting the UK’s approval of a
three-year budget plan, which is crucial to the territory’s ability to borrow
further in the upcoming budget year. The Islands are already late with their
annual spending proposal, originally due to be presented on 30 April.
Premier McKeeva Bush has said the budget proposal will
likely be delayed until mid-May at least. The new budget year starts on 1 July.