Incoming Prime Minister Theresa May accused Gordon Brown of "running scared" in 2007 for failing to call a snap election

Mark Sands
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Theresa May Launches Her Campaign For The Conservative Leadership
May is set to be installed as Prime Minister on Wednesday (Source: Getty)

Incoming Prime Minister Theresa May previously called for Gordon Brown to hold a snap election when he replaced Tony Blair, questioning the Labour man's mandate.

May will replace David Cameron as Prime Minister later this week, after her fellow candidate for the Tory leadership Andrea Leadsom stepped down.

The home secretary has been clear throughout her campaign that she would not call a new general election if chosen by the Tories, but repeatedly slammed Brown for his failure to do so.

Read More: MPs call on May to name cabinet before next week's Summer recess

Speaking in the House of Commons when serving as shadow women's minister in October 2007, four months after Brown replaced Blair, May said the then Prime Minister was “running scared of the people's verdict” for failing to call an election.

“Yesterday in Prime Minister’s questions his excuse for not calling an election was that only 26 people had signed a Downing street petition calling for one.

“I checked the website this morning and there are now 4,408 signatures and rising. Can the Leader of the House arrange for the Prime Minister to give us an update on the petition every week in Prime Minister’s questions?” she said.

And May repeated the sentiment in a blog for Conservative Home, in which she said that Brown had “no democratic mandate”.

However, Treasury committee member Mark Garnier has defended today defended May, noting that Brown had greater freedom to call an election because he was not constrained by the fixed term parliaments act, put in place by the coalition government in 2011.

The act means requires either a two-thirds majority of MPs to back an early general election, or for the Government to lose a vote of confidence in the House of Commons.

"We are only in the first year of delivering our manifesto and I don't think she is going to be changing that hugely," Garnier told City A.M. “It's just not the same situation."

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