MPs back May’s call for snap General Election

BRITAIN will go to the polls on 8 June after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of Theresa May’s plan for a snap General Election.

The Prime Minister needed two-thirds of the Commons to back her call under the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011, which had introduced five-year parliaments.

MPs were widely expected to approve the move and voted in favour by 522 to 13. May will now formally request that the Queen dissolves parliament.

May had repeatedly stated there would be no General Election until 2020 but said yesterday that she had reluctanctly changed her mind because of the need for a stronger hand to make a sucess of Brexit negotiations.

She criticised opposition parties and “unelected” Lords for fighting the Goverrnment’s Brexit plan “every step of the way”.

 “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,” the Prime Minister said.  

“Our opponents believe that because the Government’s majority  is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the election but said May can no longer be trusted after making a U-turn on the issue.

The Liberal Democrats also welcomed the snap election. Leader Tim Farron said it is a chance to “change the direction of our country” and avoid a “disastrous Hard Brexit”.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the Prime Minister’s call for an election is “one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history” and accused May of “putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country”.

“In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister,” she added.

The Green Party is calling on Labour and the Liberal Democrats to join an electoral pact to “stop the Tories wrecking Britain”. Co-leaders Caroline Lucas MP and Jonathan Bartley have written to the parties arguing that working together is the only way to prevent an “extreme Brexit”.  

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall accused the Prime Minister of a “cynical” decision in calling the election but that he looks forward to putting a positive message to the electorate.

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister has said she will not take part in any pre-election TV debates, a decision criticised by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.