Theresa May vows to lead country 'beyond Brexit' if she wins General Election

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Theresa May has said she will serve a full term as Prime Minister if Conservatives win the General Election on June 8, but declined to comment on whether she would stand again in 2022.

Her comments came as she indicated she believes a majority for Conservatives in the upcoming poll will give her a personal mandate to be "my own person" in Downing Street, rather than being tied by commitments entered into by predecessor David Cameron.

Mrs May was touring the South-West in a day of campaigning which was marked by complaints from some local media that they were excluded from visits in their patch, with the Cornwall Live website claiming its reporter was shut in a room during a factory visit.

Writing in the Western Morning News, Mrs May made clear she hopes to prevent a resurgence of Liberal Democrats in the South West, where Tim Farron's party lost a string of seats to Tories in the 2015 election.

"I am determined not to allow parties like the Liberal Democrats to prosper, because it is in their interests to prop up a Corbyn coalition of chaos so that the Brexit process stalls and they can reopen the battles of the past," she wrote.

Mrs May was pictured eating chips as she took to the streets of the seaside town of Mevagissey for a walkabout.

Speaking to the BBC, she said the election was not all about Brexit, but was a "historic opportunity" to change the country.

"We have a historic opportunity, it's an important moment of change for this country," said Mrs May.

"Now that is about dealing with the Brexit negotiations, it's about getting the best possible deal from Brexit.

"But it's also about taking this country forward beyond Brexit.

"We have an opportunity to change this country for the better and make it a country that works for everyone not just the privileged few.

"That's what drives me and that's what's driving me in this election campaign."

Asked whether the election would mark a "transformational" change from Mr Cameron's administration, Mrs May defended her predecessor's achievements and said she was "very proud" to have served in his cabinet for six years.

But she added: "I'm a different person. I'm my own person and we're in a different set of circumstances.

"And I want to look ahead to the long-term challenges that this country faces.

"What I believe this country needs is a strong and stable government with the right leadership to be willing to take the decisions that are right for Britain for the long term."

Asked if she would serve a full five-year term if elected, she replied: "I have no intention of doing anything other than serving the full term until 2022 because this is, as I say, an important time for our country and what we do over the next five years could change our country for the better for the future and truly make it a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

"That's what I'm in it for."

But she would not say whether she hoped to stay on beyond 2022, saying only: "We haven't even got through this General Election."

And she declined to discuss polls which suggest she is on course for a comfortable victory, telling BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg: "Polls come out that are good and polls come out that are bad.

"The only poll that counts is the one that takes place on June 8."