Tory chairman 'sorry' for election result but says party 'did win'
Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin has apologised to the members for not getting the result they hoped for at the general election, during a speech opening their annual conference.
As Prime Minister Theresa May, accompanied by her husband Philip, made her first appearance at the gathering in Manchester, Sir Patrick told delegates he was "sorry" for the outcome but insisted the Tories did win.
He said: "I am sorry that we did not get the result that we hoped for and I know, as do all my colleagues, that it was not because of a lack of hard work on your part."
Sir Patrick said the party was "not complacent" and the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) was "making the necessary changes to ensure that, working together, we can deliver a majority when the next election comes".
However, he insisted the election resulted in a victory for the party.
"When some people write about this year's general election, they do seem to forget the fact that we did win," he said.
"We have a Conservative Prime Minister in Downing Street, by the way Prime Minister, happy birthday.
"A Prime Minister who will be leading those crucial Brexit negotiations and working hard at home to build a country that works for everyone."
Sir Patrick also praised members for their "hard work" during the campaign, citing the party's "tremendous result" in Scotland, and victories in Stoke-on-Trent and Mansfield.