Theresa May Calls Snap General Election for June 8

Theresa May will go to parliament on Wednesday and seek early election because of disunity in politics.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election to be held on June 8, 2017, in a surprise announcement on Tuesday as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union.

May said she will go to parliament on Wednesday to seek approval for the early election.

“We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done … before the detailed talks begin,” May said, speaking in front of 10 Downing Street.

“I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election,” she said.

May added that the UK needed an election because other parties are opposed to the Brexit plans to leave the EU.

May had previously said there would be no early election under her leadership.

Al Jazeera’s Duncan Golestani, reporting from London, said: “May has rolled the dice, she is taking her gamble. She wants to increase her majority and her mandate to lead the country through Brexit.”

Under Britain’s fixed-term parliament act, May must win the approval of two-thirds of parliament before proceeding with an earlier election.

“She doesn’t have that majority within her own parliamentarians, so she’ll have to challenge the opposition members to say ‘you vote for this or you’re not supporting us and you’re not supporting Brexit’,” said Golestani.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said he backed May’s call for an early vote.

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I welcome the PM’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first

In a statement posted to social media, Corbyn said: “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 the NHS.”

May accused her opponents of divisive “political game-playing” and undermining the UK in its Brexit talks.

“It’s very interesting the way she has framed the politics of this. She has pointed the blame at the opposition parties, Labour and the liberal Democrats as well as the Scottish National Party,” said Golestani.

“She has said repeatedly over the past six months that she would not call an election, that she didn’t think it was in the country’s interest, that stability was needed. She has gone back on that.”

 

Reprinted with permission from Al Jazeera