Theresa May says an early General Election is in the national interest

Mark Sands
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The UK is expected to go to the polls on 8 June. (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has denied calling an early General Election in the interests of her party in her first interview since announcing the decision.

May shocked the country earlier today by revealing that she would push for a vote on 8 June. MPs will vote on the plan tomorrow.

The decision comes with Labour at historic polling lows, and ITV's Robert Peston questioned whether the Prime Minister had made the decision in the hopes of strengthening her Conservative party, rather than the country.

"This is a decision that I've taken and I've taken it reluctantly, but I've taken it in the national interest," May said.

"It's important that we have this election now. I think it can strengthen the hand of the government in our negotiations to make Brexit a success, and also enable us to set out our plans for a stronger Britain, taking Britain forward beyond Brexit."

The Prime Minister also revealed that she had resolved on an early poll while on a walking holiday in Wales prior to Easter.

"As we were going through the Article 50 process, the attempts, potential attempts, to jeopardise or frustrate the process in future became clearer," May said.

"Then before Easter I spent a few days walking in Wales with my husband, thought about this long and hard and came to this decision that to provide that stability and certainty for the future, this was the way to do it - have an election"

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