General Election on June 8 as Prime Minister announces vote
The Prime Minister has announced her desire to call a general election on June 8.
Throwing down a challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other opposition leaders, Theresa May will ask the House of Commons to back the decision for a snap decision on Wednesday.
Labour have confirmed they will vote with the government and support a general election, giving the Prime Minister the two-thirds majority needed from MPs to overturn the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.
Only a month ago Theresa May said she would not call an early election. She said she had reached her decision ''only recently and reluctantly'.
Justifying her change of mind, May blamed 'division in Westminster' and said she needed a stronger mandate to negotiate a good Brexit deal from the European Union. 'We have a one off chance to get this done,' she said.
In a surprise announcement outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday she said: 'The country is coming together but Westminster is not.'
She accused the Liberal Democrats and Labour of blocking progress on Brexit negotiations
'What they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home,' she said.
'Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit.
'We need a general election and we need one now.'
Issuing a challenge to Labour just as a poll gave her a 21-point lead over Jeremy Corbyn, May said: 'I have a simple challenge for the opposition parties.
'This is your moment to show you mean it...to show you don't treat politics as a game.'
She added: 'Let the people decide.'
Jeremy Corbyn said he welcomed the challenge. 'I welcome the prime minister's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
'Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
'In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.'
Indicating the Liberal Democrats would also back the call for an election, leader Tim Farron said: 'This election is your chance to change the direction of our country.
'If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
'Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.'