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Election results: Theresa May forms government with DUP support after hung parliament

Theresa May’s Conservative Party falls short of a majority as Labour makes unexpected gains.

The Conservative Party has fallen short of an overall parliamentary majority after an extraordinary election night that saw Labour make unexpected gains all over England and Wales. Theresa May has visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and said in a statement outside No 10 Downing Street that she will be forming a government with the help of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

She said: “It is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist party can form a government.” She went on to say that she was now in a position to form a government that would provide “certainty”.

May added that the Conservative Party and the DUP had "enjoyed a strong relationship over many years" and that Brexit negotiations would commence as planned on 19 June. “We will fulfil the promise of Brexit together over the next five years and build a country in which no family and no community is left behind.”

With all seats declared, Labour gained 30 seats at the expense of all of their rivals. The Conservatives are currently on 318 seats, eight short of the 326 needed to secure a Commons majority. The SNP are on 35, having lost out to both Ruth Davidson’s party and a resurgent Scottish Labour, which has gained six seats. The Lib Dems have gained four seats, taking them to 12.

The final seat to declare was the London constituency of Kensington, with Labour's Emma Dent Coad defeating the sitting Conservative MP Victoria Borwick.

The unionist DUP in Northern Ireland gained two seats, meaning that they are now on 10 MPs. Sinn Fein also had a good night, gaining three MPs, although they confirmed that once again they will not take up their seats.

A number of high-profile MPs have lost their seats, including the former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam, former SNP leader Alex Salmond in Gordon and Tory ministers Ben Gummer in Ipswich and Gavin Barwell in Croydon Central.

The current Lib Dem leader Tim Farron just held onto his Westmorland and Lonsdale seat, with a majority of 777. Amber Rudd, the home secretary who looked in trouble after the exit poll, hung on to her Hastings and Rye seat with a slim majority of 346.

Tim Farron and Nick Clegg. Photo: Getty

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn exceeded all expectations to deny Theresa May a majority government. Speaking after his own re-election as the MP for Islington North, he said: "Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics.”

Corbyn also called for Theresa May to resign, having failed to deliver the mandate for Brexit that was her primary reason for calling the snap election. He said: “She wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go.”

Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Labour headquarters. Photo: Getty

Anna Soubry, the re-elected Conservative MP for Broxtowe and a vocal pro-remain campaigner, also called for May to stand down as prime minister and party leader. She blamed Theresa May’s “disastrous campaign” for the Conservatives’ poor result, saying: “She's a remarkable and very talented woman and she doesn't shy away from difficult decisions, but she now has to obviously consider her position.”

Caroline Crampton is head of podcasts at the New Statesman.

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People are not prepared to see innovation at any price - we need to take care of our digital health

Correcting the course of technology in Britain does not need to mean taking backwards steps and becoming an anti-innovation zone.

As individuals, we have never been better connected. As a society, we are being driven further apart.

Doteveryone’s People Power and Technology report, released this week, found that half of the 2,500 British people we surveyed said the internet had made life a lot better for people like them - but only 12 per cent saw a very positive impact on society.

These findings won’t be news to most people living in Brexit Britain - or to anyone who’s been involved in a spat on Twitter. The fact that we’re constantly connected to our smartphones has not necessarily improved our communities or our understanding of one other, and the trails of data we’re leaving behind are not turning into closer social bonds.

Many of the positives we experience are for ourselves as individuals.

Lots of consumer tech puts simple self-sufficiency first - one-click to buy, swipe right to date - giving us a feeling of cosy isolation and making one little phone an everywhere. This powerful individualism is a feature of all of the big platforms - and even social networks like Facebook and Twitter, that are meant bring us together, do so in the context of personalised recommendations and algorithmically ordered timelines.

We are all the centre of our own digital worlds. So it is no surprise that when we do look up from our phones, we feel concerned about the impact on society. Our research findings articulate the dilemma we face: do we do the thing that is easiest for us, or the one that is better for society?

For instance, 78 per cent of people see the Internet as helping us to communicate better, but 68 per cent also feel it makes us less likely to speak to each other face-to-face. 69per cent think the internet helps businesses to sell their products and services, while 53 per cent think it forces local shops to compete against larger companies online.

It’s often hard to see the causality in these trade-offs. At what point does my online shopping tip my high street into decline? When do I notice that I’ve joined another WhatsApp group but haven’t said hello to my neighbour?

When given clear choices, the public was clear in its response.  

We asked how they would feel if an online retailer offered free one-day delivery for lower income families, but this resulted in local shops closing down - 69 per cent found this unacceptable. Or if their bank invested more in combating fraud and cyber crime, but closed their local branch - 61 per cent said it was unacceptable. Or if their council made savings by putting services online and cut council tax as a result, but some people would find it hard to access these services - 56 per cent found it unacceptable.

It seems people are not prepared to see innovation at any price - and not at the expense of their local communities. The poorest find these trade offs least acceptable.

Correcting the course of technology in Britain does not need to mean taking backwards steps and becoming an anti-innovation zone.

A clearer regulatory environment would support positive, responsible change that supports our society, not just the ambition of a few corporations.

Some clarity about our relationship with web services would be a good start. 60 per cent of people Doteveryone spoke to believed there should be an independent body they can turn to when things go wrong online; 89 per cent would like terms and conditions to be clearer, and 47% feel they have no choice but to sign up to services, even when they have concerns.

Technology regulation is complicated and fragmentary. Ofcom and the under-resourced Information Commissioner’s Office, provide some answers,but they are not sufficient to regulate the myriad effects of social media, let alone the changes that new technologies like self-driving cars will bring. There needs to be a revolution in government, but at present as consumers and citizens we can’t advocate for that. We need a body that represents us, listens to our concern and gives us a voice.

And the British public also needs to feel empowered, so we can all make better choices - adults and children alike need different kinds of understanding and capability to navigate the digital world. It is not about being able to code: it is about being able to cope.

Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and well-being, and reduce health inequalities. Perhaps we need a digital equivalent, to protect and improve our digital health and well-being, and reduce digital inequalities.

As a society, we should not have to continually respond and adapt to the demands of the big corporations: we should also make demands of them - and we need confidence, a voice, and representation to begin to do that.

Rachel Coldicutt is chief executive of Doteveryone.