British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday shocked the UK political world by calling for an early general election, less than halfway through the government’s five-year term.
In a statement issued at Downing Street, May said she wants the election to hold June 8.
May, who commands only a slim majority in parliament’s lower House of Commons, said that a new mandate would strengthen her hand in negotiations in Brexit talks.
A general election would end the attempts of opposition parties and members of the House of Lords to thwart her Brexit plans, she said.
Her words: “If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue.
“There should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
“We need a general election and we need one now.”
Key developments from the announcement according to CNN, include the following:
- MPs must approve decision to dissolve Parliament part-way through full term
- Vote will be held in Parliament on Wednesday
- Opposition parties say they will not block move to hold election on June 8
- Theresa May likely to substantially increase her slim majority
- May wants strong mandate for Brexit talks