Snap election the latest
The Prime Minister, Theresa May has this morning met with her cabinet and said in a surprise statement live from Downing street that she has “reluctantly” called for a general election on the 8 June.
May is to table her motion in the House of Commons for a vote to take place Wednesday for the proposed general election. May will need two-thirds of MPs to agree to this to enable the general election to happen.
May said in her shock announcement: “In recent weeks Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union.”
“The Liberal Democrats said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.”
“The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union.”
“And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”
“If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue.”
May said that the country needs certainty, stability and strong leadership following Brexit and in justifying her decision she said: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not.”
May continued to explain why she has changed her mind on a general election, she said: “I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.”
The fixed-term Parliament Act says that the general election date is the first Thursday in May every five years. The next general election was to be in 2020.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP said on twitter: “This is your chance to change the direction of your country”
This is your chance to change the direction of your country pic.twitter.com/wfj4wC7yn3
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) April 18, 2017
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomes May’s decision to ask MPs to vote for a general election so with Corbyn and Farron both agreeing to an election this confirms that May will get more than two-thirds of the vote required.
Corbyn tweeted: “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.”
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 pic.twitter.com/9P3X6A2Zpw
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) April 18, 2017
Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith the former Cabinet minister said May’s move to hold an early general election “is not about Brexit”.
Smith added: “It’s about electing a government with a strong mandate, to both get on with Brexit but also to carry on with normal domestic business.”
He also described Labour’s position of being far behind in the polls as a “secondary issue”.
“The Labour party has its own particular problems and I suspect there’ll be a number of Labour MPs who will want also to see this general election for internal reasons.”
“But the reality is for Theresa May this is a bold, strong, serious decision made by somebody who has complete confidence in their leadership.”
Latest opinion polls are suggesting that the Conservative are on 42 per cent with Labour on 27 per cent. Professor John Curtice of politics at Strathclyde University said that May has “quite a substantial majority.”
A YouGov tweeted their poll: ” With the PM calling a general election for 8 June, here’s YouGov’s most recent voting intention Con – 44% Lab – 23% LD – 12% UKIP – 10%”
With the PM calling a general election for 8 June, here’s YouGov’s most recent voting intention
Con – 44%
Lab – 23%
LD – 12%
UKIP – 10% pic.twitter.com/t6v36qPSrn
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 18, 2017
Stephen Crabb Conservative MP tweeted: “Sun is shining. Perfect moment for an election. Let’s go.”
Sun is shining. Perfect moment for an election. Let’s go.
— Stephen Crabb (@scrabbmp) April 18, 2017
Commenting on the PM’s decision to seek a general election on 8 June, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Many business communities will understandably be concerned that attention will inevitably shift from the economy and the intricacies of leaving the EU to a potential election campaign.”
“Firms will want to be reassured that the key challenges facing the economy will be front and centre throughout any election period.”