THERESA May’s speech was last night being met with a mixture of panic, sympathy — and silence from Europe.

Nicola Sturgeon took a lighter note when she flagged up fears she may run into when she gives her address to the SNP conference next week.

“Spare a thought for those of us still to deliver our conference speech and now fretting about all the things that could go wrong,” tweeted the First Minister.

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READ MORE: Theresa May's speech was so appallingly bad she could be gone in days

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson — praised by May in her 65-minute speech in Manchester — was among the first to come to the rescue. Davidson tweeted: “If ever the Prime Minister needed a metaphor for service and duty and resolution through adversity that battling performance is it. Huge respect.”

But at a political level the address was met with hostility and speculation mounted over how long May would continue as PM.

The BBC reported that MPs were texting each other to see what should be done.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: May's speech was full of offensively dishonest assertions ... what planet is she on?

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said: “Theresa May’s speech – beset with problems and protests – proved the ‘British dream’ is a Tory nightmare for families and communities hit by years of endless austerity, cuts and low economic growth...

“That nightmare is now compounded by the dangerous shambles of Brexit which is a threat to jobs, businesses and livelihoods across the UK.

“Tory policies are deeply damaging to Scotland — from their obsession with failed austerity to their decision to charge our emergency services VAT; the mess of Universal Credit; their deeply damaging immigration policy and the assault of the most vulnerable in society, to the point that the United Nations has described Tory policy towards the disabled as a ‘human catastrophe.”

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, indicated on Tuesday night that he would be watching the speech.

“PM May’s speech in Florence was not enough to achieve “sufficient progress”. I hope her speech to #cpc2017 tomorrow will bring more clarity,” he tweeted.

But by the time The National went to press there was no response from Verhofstadt.

May did include a short section of her speech on Brexit, reiterating the UK was leaving the EU in March 2019, and also underlining that EU citizens were “welcome” and that she wanted them to stay.

Scottish Labour leadership contender Richard Leonard said: “This week’s Tory conference has heard a Prime Minister without authority, a Chancellor without empathy and a Foreign Secretary without decency....Ruth Davidson’s MPs and MSPs like to present themselves as the acceptable face of Conservativism but in fact they are part of the problem — failing to stand up for the majority in Scotland who want better-funded public services, an end to the cruel and callous benefits regime, decent jobs and better pay.”

Leonard’s rival in the contest to succeed Kezia Dugdale also hit out.

Anas Sarwar: “Theresa May can call herself a ‘proud Unionist’ all she wants, but she leads a party that has pulled apart the bonds that unite us across the UK,” he said.

Scottish Greens co-convener, Patrick Harvie MSP said: “While the Prime Minister says ‘sorry’ to Tory party members for a poor election campaign, coughing and dribbling is as close as the public gets to an apology on Brexit.

“Few people in Scotland will recognise the ‘British dream’ Theresa May refers to, especially EU nationals, who are being steered towards a Brexit cliff edge in a Tory nightmare.”

Cabinet ministers rallied round with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt saying she showed a “great sense of duty”, while Tory MP George Freeman hit out at the apparent security breach.”There should be some very serious questions, that could have been a terrorist,” he said.