Prime Minister Theresa May calls for an early General Election

Theresa May Announces A General Election
The UK will head to the polls on June 8 (Source: Getty)

Theresa May is to call for a snap General Election to take place in early summer.

In a surprise announcement today, May said she will ask Parliament to approve a vote on 8 June.

Speaking in Downing Street, May confirmed that the decision had been made after a meeting of cabinet.

The Prime Minister has previously stressed she had no plans to call an early vote, but said she had come down in favour of an election "recently and reluctantly" in light of the launch of Brexit negotiations.

"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 said, blaming opposition parties for threats to stymie Brexit.

"If we do not hold a general election now their political game playing will continue, and negotiations with the EU will reach their most difficult stage in the run tup to the next scheduled election," she said.

She added that the timing of a declaration would be critical, stating: "We need a general a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the EU agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin."

MPs will vote on a motion for an early election tomorrow. Two-thirds of MPs will need to back the motion to approve the Prime Minister's plans.

That equates to 433 MPs. May's Conservatives number 330 in their own right, and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said that he would expect his party to support an early vote.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron responded with a pitch to voters uneasy with May's approach to quitting the EU.

“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," Farron said.

This breaking news story is being updated as more information emerges - please refresh the page for the most recent version.

To keep on top of the biggest news stories as they happen, follow @CityAM on Twitter. You can also sign up for our newsletter alerts for updates throughout the day.

Related articles