British politician becomes the first MP of Palestinian descent
Lesley Martin (AFP)
British politician Layla Moran became the first British Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent on Friday.
Moran was elected MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and has a British father and a Palestinian mother from Jerusalem. Moran won the Oxfordshire seat by 816 votes, an almost 15 percent sway away from Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party, in the national elections on Thursday.
"My Palestinian background has made me interested at a global level. Politics was always at the dinner table, it primed me to engage," Moran told the New Arab in the days leading up to the election. "De facto, I will be a representative of our community in parliament, and it will be a great honor which I take humbly."
The daughter of a diplomat, Moran was a math and physics teacher by profession before deciding to run for office. She speaks Arabic, French, Spanish and Greek.
A defiant Prime Minister Theresa May vowed Friday to form a government to lead Britain out of the EU despite losing her majority in a snap general election and facing calls to resign.
"What the country needs more than ever is certainty," the Conservative leader said after the shock outcome of Thursday's vote.
May had called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her hand in looming Brexit negotiations, but her gamble backfired spectacularly.
With all but one of 650 seats declared, the center-right party had the most votes and the most seats but lost its majority in the House of Commons.
Sterling plunged against the dollar and the euro as the election result created even more uncertainty over the whole Brexit process.
May sought permission Friday from head of state Queen Elizabeth II to form a minority government, supported by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
In a statement outside Downing Street, the 60-year-old premier promised to "fulfill the promise of Brexit".
"It is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that," she said.
"This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal."
European Council President Donald Tusk warned there was "no time to lose" in starting the negotiations, with the two-year countdown to Britain's exit from the European bloc already well underway.
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May has been everything but certain!