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Prime Minister Theresa May announces snap General Election for June 8

PUBLISHED: 15:26 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:26 18 April 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street, announcing a snap general election on June 8. PICTURE: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street, announcing a snap general election on June 8. PICTURE: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

A snap General Election has been called by Prime Minister Theresa May on June 8 in a surprise announcement which has stunned Westminster.

Mrs May will require the support of two-thirds of MPs to go to the polls. A vote is scheduled in the Commons tomorrow.

Read her full speech here.

The move takes place against the backdrop of the country’s decision to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum.

Speaking on the steps of Downing Street this morning, Mrs May said the Cabinet had agreed to call an early election.

Mrs May and Number 10 had repeatedly insisted she would not seek a general election before the scheduled 2020 poll.

But Mrs May, who has a fragile working majority of just 17 in the Commons, said she wanted “unity” at Westminster as talks on Brexit begin in earnest with the European Union.

She said: “We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.

“That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.

“This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the other political parties oppose it.

“At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.”

She acknowledged that she needed a stronger position in the Commons to secure her plans for the UK’s future outside the EU.

“Our opponents believe because the Government’s majority is so small that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change. They are wrong,” she said.

“They under-estimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country, because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the Government’s negotiating position in Europe.”

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, general elections take place every five years, meaning Mrs May would have had to carry on until 2020 before the chance to strengthen her position.

In order to call the early election, she will need the support of two-thirds of the 650 MPs in the Commons - but Labour is expected to support her, as any opposition would look weak if it did not agree to the chance to take office.

Senior Tories have urged Mrs May to call an early election, taking advantage of the Conservatives’ healthy opinion poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

Mrs May suggested she reached her decision over the Easter parliamentary recess - during which she went on a walking holiday in North Wales.

“I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion,” the PM said.

“Since I became Prime Minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020.

“But now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the news. He said in a statement: “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.”

18 comments

  • Clear up the mess? The national debt is higher now than it was under Labour. The deficit decreased but it's worrying that the debt didn't, a sign that austerity failed, just as it has in every single previous example of a government trying to cut an economy back to prosperity. A more important indicator for economic strength and confidence is GDP per capita measured against personal debt and that is worse than it was before the crash ten years ago which we still have not fully recovered from. A contraction, if not a recession, is looming. May called the election because she hopes five years, rather than he three she had, might be enough time to ride out the worst of it.

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    McLean

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • When LabLib get in (decades?)there will only be two outcomes, more scroungers and the country will be in bigger debt than it is now (if that's even possible). Because it's national debt it doesn't often translate and hit these people directly in the pocket until the Tories have to clear up the mess, and then it does. Rinse and repeat......

    Report this comment

    Dark Town

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • Almost every car made in the UK is for a foreign owned company. Also, as a JIT manufacturing industry it's one that is in the most danger because of Brexit and leaving the single market and Customs union. I agree with skrich that it's a waste of money. And we had a referendum on the voting system not long ago, FPTP won.

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    McLean

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • Skrich, I agree with some of your views on LabTorys and completely agree that Blair-Brown particularly the latter, were completely bamboozled by the finance industry and it's reliance on the absurd British Housing Market. However, I think you are dissatisfied with them form a left perspective while I am the same but from the right and in my view, any combination of Lab and Lib would be much much worse than a May government. I have no time for Major either but when we come to Maggie, then our different political perspectives are more clearly shown. She saved British Industry in fact and the most vivid example is the car industry, now thriving because of her interventions. OK, Blair et al kept the rotten British-Labour-Rover company going for a time with the help of very dodgy concessions on their VAT payments but now they've gone too, the rest of the industry can thrive, provide jobs, pay taxes and generally produce things we can be proud of and people want to buy. Post-industrial decline in manufacturing occurred throughout Europe and the USA. Was she to blame for that as well. Simple fact is that she had the foresight to see what was happening and the courage to take unpopular decisions to deal with the situation and it was very effective. Pity about the Poll Tax tho' but then all politicians go mad in the end don't they? To address the remarks in the peroration of your post, I have none of those things like private education, houses abroad etc. I am not a LibLabCon politico living on a generous tax-free euro stipend so I couldn't possibly afford such comforts and I don't like our local MP at all. Oh yes, and I love Brexit. Closer economic cooperation with the USAAustraliaNZCanada is the way forward, not the EU. They don't really like us you know.

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    Gobby

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • Sorry to disagree Gobby but there's no good news in a Tory govt for the next 10-15 years, unless you are a banker, Sir Philip Green, Rupert Murdoch or anyone with too much money who just wants more. Blair and New Labour's one big crime is that they had enough time to put right all the years of mismanagement by the Tories but sold out to the 'City' instead. Thatcher and Major dismantled our industries, our communities, our public services, our health and education services, and sold them off to the highest bidders. Now we have Brexit which will likely plunge us back into recession but hey, if you have enough money to buy private health care, private education for your kids, houses abroad and hold offshore bank accounts with no or favourable tax implications then you're immune in your own little bubble and that of your friends and associates - which probably includes the local MP.

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    skrich

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • The good news is that a Tory victory will mean no LibLabLefties in power for another 10-15 years which might mean there is plenty of time to fix all the problems caused by the long years of Blair-Brown. It is not generally realised just how much damage they did as such things take some time to show themselves, and the dreadful decision to favour diesels over petrol by the bozo loudmouth Prescott is just a very small example of what I am talking about. On the other hand, May-Hammond are no great shakes themselves. As for May's cover story that she wants a strong mandate so she can have a strong negotiating position on Brexit, I just don't buy that story. If anything it's just the opposite. I suspect she just wants a compliant tory party and a completely destroyed LibLab opposition so she can make huge concessions against the real wishes and interests of the British people and claim a victory! That's what she did when she was an ineffectual Home Secretary after all. As for our local choices, oh dear! As exercise in judging just who is more mediocre than another I think, and that includes the UKIP candidate.

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    Gobby

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • What a totally pointless exercise this election will be costing millions of pounds that should be spent on something better. Until we get a properly democratic electoral system where every vote actually counts it's not worth getting out of the chair for. The Tory-owned Press will turn the whole thing into a witch-hunt against Corbyn and the voters will believe everything they read as usual. Give Theresa a throne and a crown and call her 'Queen Margaret' - then she'll be satisfied and the rest of us can get on with tugging our forelocks to our lords and masters and hope to make it through another winter.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Gummer and Dr Dan are both vapid remoaning snowflakes. Both of them should step aside and let a man take their place. Labour and their fellow FibDem snowflakes are destined for the bottom of the dustbin!

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    cthulu

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Great call by Mrs May, Corbyn and his London trots will be history and Lib-Dem re-moaners will have to accept last years result.

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    Suffolk and Proud

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Anyone but Ellesmere he's the kiss of death, any other half decent labour candidate would wipe the floor with Gummer .Here's hoping no Gummer after the 8th June.

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    nfi

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Good point Paul e Dr Dan might not stand but I'm pretty sure a Tory will be voted in , in his constituency, tactical voting might be the case in Ipswich as Will there be a ukip candidate ? Ipswich has a strong labour vote but I still think Gummer will get the nod if they put up Ellsmere against him, perhaps a candidate that wants a Northern bypass might get more support .Ps that video from the old man Geater is very boring ! Zzz

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    Macke

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • @Macke - I too have Dr Dan as my MP. Whilst, on paper, it's looks a safe seat I wonder if he'll stand, seems to have made lots of noise about returning to medicine. Also, wonder if this election might see tactical agreements between parties in some seats in order to get the Tories out? Wouldn't bet against it as it's likely to be a strange one.

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    paul e.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Oh please not Ellesmere again, just please. Corbyn will be out and the Poet will be leaving the country with any hope in talking rubbish. You come up with the best theory then and get yourself on the ballot paper. Living on a cloud I would say, just bring it on. I am prepared to work at it instead of moaning.

    Report this comment

    Joseph Marshall

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Just a thought !...who decides what is 'normal' ?, and are they 'normal' ?..

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • is anyone else bored of voting? while I will of course attend my voting station and mark my card I do worry that those who are on the fringe of "can I be bothered to go down and vote" will feel slightly saturated with it all...........if it goes through tomorrow and an election will be held in June the news and papers will be dominated by it all! I am always for freedom of speech and expression! I'm just saying it seems we constantly voting on something, we have local elections next month!

    Report this comment

    alotofpuff

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Well Mrs May, Brexit just isn't working is it? Well, well, who'd of thought it. It will be interesting now to see if there's a party who comes up with an alternative to Brexit in their referendum, might just save this country from a lot of pain and suffering for its people.

    Report this comment

    Poet

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Don't live in Ipswich anymore but if it's Gummer versus Ellsmere again then it's a walkover for Gummer.I will end up with a Tory MP as dr dan has a large majority.

    Report this comment

    Macke

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • At least Corbyn will get the boot now and Labour will hopefully get someone normal in for next time around.

    Report this comment

    Chris Haggard

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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