Mrs May was speaking at the Conservative Party’s Wales conference after a disastrous night at the polls. Results from the local elections are still coming in but the Tories have already lost more than 440 council seats and are on course for more defeats. Addressing party members, the Prime Minister admitted it the “results were very difficult for our party”. She was heckled as she took to the stage in Llangollen with an audience member standing up and shouting: “Why don’t you you resign? We don’t want you.” The heckler was eventually drowned out with jeers.
Mrs May told the conference: “Results are still coming in, but the picture is clear.
“Councillors who’ve given years of hard work in their local communities have lost through no fault of their own.
“This is a difficult time for our party and these election results are a symptom of that.
“We have the privilege of governing our country at a momentous time and we have a responsibility of delivering something truly historic.
“What is momentous and historic is seldom simple and straightforward.
“But I think there was a simple message from yesterday’s elections to both us and the Labour Party – just get on and deliver Brexit.”
Earlier, Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis told Sky News: “I have said for a while these are going to be tough elections for us.
“The reality is we were fighting these elections from a real high water mark for us off the back of the 2015 general election.
“People are frustrated with where they see parliamentarians are.
“And the fact that we have found this impasse in parliament.
“It’s a stark reminder to everybody in the House of Commons that we need to get past that impasse, deliver on what people voted for, and focus on that as parliamentarians as well.”
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “I think the message is pretty clear. It seems to be a plague on both your houses to the Conservatives and the Labour Party, who they see as a block on finding some sort of resolution to Brexit.
“So, we know that the talks are ongoing; hopefully, this will focus minds in the room and, hopefully, we can get past the impasse that we are in and move on to the next stage.”
There were calls from Tory MPs for Theresa May’s removal as leader, with senior Brexiteer Sir Bernard Jenkin warning that the party would be “toast” unless it “mends its ways pretty quickly”.
The Conservatives lost Peterborough, Basildon, Southend, Worcester, St Albans, Welwyn Hatfield, Folkestone and Hythe, Broxtowe, Tendring and Tandridge to no overall control while Winchester, Chelmsford, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset Wesand Taunton, Vale of White Horse, Cotswold and Hinckley and Bosworth fell to the Liberal Democrats, with North Kesteven going to independents.
However the party held on in the bellwether council of Swindon, seen as a possible Labour gain, and took Walsall and North East Lincolnshire from no overall control.
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the losses reflected the anger among voters over Brexit and called on MPs to rally behind Mrs May’s deal.
He said: “Because we haven’t been able to deliver Brexit on March 29 we are seeing these results,” he said.
“The Prime Minister has stretched every sinew, she has tried everything. We can keep blaming the Prime Minister, ultimately it is in the hands of us parliamentarians.”
Sir Bernard Jenkin said voters overwhelmingly believed that she had “lost the plot” and that the time had come for a change of leader.
He said: ”They can see that she has lost the plot. They can see she is not in control of events,” he said.
“Certainly among Conservative activists and council candidates there is an almost universal feeling that it is time for her to move on.”
His comments were echoed by former cabinet minister Priti Patel who said voters saw Mrs May as “part of the problem”.
She told the BBC: ”I just don’t think we can continue like this. We need change, we need a change of leadership. Perhaps the time has now come for that.”
Tory Brexiteer Crispin Blunt said the party needed to replace Mrs May with a new leader.
He said: “I’ve been trying to get her out openly since December. Lots of people are trying to get the message over.”