“During this campaign my case has been based on three things: first, the need for strong, proven leadership to steer us through what will be difficult and uncertain economic and political times, the need of course to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.”
She insisted that she would lead Britain out of the EU, saying: “Brexit means Brexit”
She also vowed to “unite our country” and provide “a strong new positive vision for the future of our country, a vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but that works for every one of us, because we’re going to give people more control over their lives and that’s how, together, we will build a better Britain.”
Mrs May’s husband Philip was at the victory speech outside St Stephen’s entrance and gave his wife a kiss on the cheek as she was cheered by supporters.
Mrs May has insisted she will not trigger a snap general election and that her job is to get on with delivering the EU exit demanded by the referendum.
But opposition parties last night demanded an election, claiming she had no mandate from voters.
Labour frontbencher John Trickett said: “It is crucial, given the instability caused by the Brexit vote, that the country has a democratically elected Prime Minister.
“I am now putting the whole of the party on a general election footing.”
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “The Tories now have no mandate. Britain deserves better than this.”