In a political drama both brutal and surreal, British Prime Minister Theresa May tried Friday to carry on with the business of governing as usual, while her Conservative Party reeled from losing its parliamentary majority and her opponents demanded she resign.
An election that May called to strengthen her hand as Britain leaves the European Union ended with her political authority obliterated, her days in office likely numbered and the path to Brexit more muddied than ever.
Meanwhile the supposed loser, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, savored a surprisingly strong result and basked in the adulation of an energized, youthful base.
British newspapers summed it up in a word: Mayhem.
The Conservatives built their election campaign around May’s ostensible strengths as a “strong and stable” leader, and the outcome is a personal slap in the face. But May soldiered on Friday, re-appointing senior ministers to her Cabinet and holding talks with a small Northern Irish party about shoring up her minority government.