Standing outside 10 Downing Street, May said she would ask the House of Commons on Wednesday to back her call for an election, three years before the next scheduled date in May 2020.
May took office in July after predecessor David Cameron stepped down following his failed attempt to get voters to back remaining in the EU. But she said Tuesday she had “reluctantly” changed her mind. Since then she has ruled out calling an early election to get her own mandate.
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dollar after the announcement, to 1.257, recovering from a 0.4 per cent drop an hour earlier. The pound rose 0.1 per cent against the U.S.
/ AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images British Prime Minister Theresa May walks out of 10 Downing Street to make a statement to the media in central London on April 18, 2017.
She said the political divisions “risk our ability to make a success of Brexit.” She said that since Britons voted to leave the EU in June, the country had come together, but politicians had not.
“They are wrong,” she said. “They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.”
The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has previously said he would back such a call.
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Under Britain’s Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, elections are held every five years, but the prime minister can call a snap election if two-thirds of lawmakers vote for it.
LONDON — In a shock announcement, Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for an early general election to be held June 8 to seek a strong mandate as she negotiates Britain’s exit from the European Union.
May said that “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” on leaving the EU. At present, May’s governing Conservatives have 330 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons.
Polls give May’s Conservatives a double-digit lead on Labour, which is divided under left-wing leader Corbyn.
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