Jeremy Corbyn Says New U.K. Election May Be Held by Early 2018

'We have a program, we have support and we are ready to fight another election campaign as soon as may be,' says Labour leader

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks on the BBC in London on June 11, 2017.
REUTERS

Britain's opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after the vote on Thursday produced no clear winner

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to reach an agreement with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to form a minority government. 

"It is quite possible there will be an election later this year or early next year and that might be a good thing because we cannot go on with a period of great instability," Corbyn told the BBC. 

"We have a program, we have support and we are ready to fight another election campaign as soon as may be," he said. 

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also denied plotting to topple Theresa May, whose hold on power remained tenuous Sunday as she tried to finalize a deal with a small Northern Irish party to prop up her minority government after a disastrous election.

Former Treasury chief George Osborne - who was fired by May last year - called her a "dead woman walking."

Johnson, one of the Conservatives' most popular politicians, tweeted that an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper headlined "Boris set to launch bid to be PM as May clings on" was "tripe."

"I am backing Theresa May. Let's get on with the job," he said.

The Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in Thursday's election. May called the snap vote in a bid to strengthen her mandate ahead of exit talks with the European Union. Instead, she has left Britain's government ranks in disarray, days before the divorce negotiations are due to start on June 19.

May's party won 318 seats, 12 fewer than it had before the snap election, and eight short of the 326 needed for an outright majority. Labour surpassed expectations by winning 262.

Many senior Conservatives say May should stay, for now, to provide stability. But few believe she can hang on for more than a few months.

"I think her position is, in the long term, untenable," Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry told Sky News. "I just don't see how she can continue in any long-term way."