In a surprise move, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for snap elections on June 8. She asserted that early general elections were the only way to guarantee political stability in the country for years after the UK leaves the European Union. She also indicated that the early polls will help unite the political corridors of the country.
On Wednesday, House of Commons is expected to vote on the matter. May needs two-thirds of lawmakers in the British parliament to vote in favour of early elections.
“I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became prime minister I’ve said there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions we must take…So we need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one off chance to get this done,” said May while making the announcement outside her Downing Street residence in London,
May also accused Britain’s other political parties of “game playing”.
May revealed that she had informed the Queen on Monday to inform her of her intention.
The decision was taken after a cabinet meeting at Downing Street.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed May’s decision.
“Labour will stand up for the people of Britain. I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first,” he 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 NHS,” he added.
The House of Commons is expected to dissolve on May 3 and the vote requires 434 out of 650 MPs to vote for the early election for it to go ahead.
In a historic referendum in 2016, the Britain decided to leave the European Union in 2016.
(With inputs from agencies)