PM called General Election 'with heavy heart', says Chief Whip Gavin Williamson


British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to media as she calls a snap general election in London on Tuesday.

One broadcaster, ITV, said it planned to hold a debate with or without the prime minister.

Britains Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an early general election for June 8 to seek a strong mandate as she negotiates Britains exit from the European Union.

Her co-leader Jonathan Bartley said the announcement, following a string of denials there would be an early vote, revealed a "deep dishonesty at the heart of government". Polls give the Conservatives a double-digit lead over Labour, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority.

"The decision facing the country will be clear".

She certainly did, on several occasions including a BBC interview with Andrew Marr in September 2016, in which she said: "I'm not going to be calling a snap election".

Rejecting the PM's claim that an election is needed to prevent disunity at Westminster undermining a Brexit deal, Mr Corbyn said: "There is no obstacle to the Government negotiating, but, instead of getting on with the job, she is painting herself as the prisoner of the Liberal Democrats".

Ms Sturgeon added: "But yesterday, she changed her mind, not for the good of the country, but for simple party advantage".

"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".

Nonetheless, her reluctance to go face to face with her principal opponents does her no favours.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Paul Nuttall said that May's decision was based on the "weakness" of the Labour Party.

The backing of two thirds of the British parliament was needed to implement the move, created to strengthen the British government's position ahead of upcoming Brexit negotiations.

"What do we know that the leader of the Labour Party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common?" she asked parliament.

Under the terms of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, Mrs May must secure a two-thirds majority of MPs to bring the election forward by three years from the scheduled date of May 2020.

But Mr Corbyn told MPs Mrs May could not be trusted, after u-turning on her promise not to call an early election and accused her of running scared of TV debates during the campaign.

Prime Minister Theresa May announces a snap general election outside 10 Downing Street.

"The realisation hit her that asking the British people for a mandate was the only way to enable her to progress through the Brexit negotiations and also to deliver on her own policies", he said.

"Even though May looks set to secure a strong mandate from United Kingdom voters, the priority of European Union negotiators heading into the Brexit talks remains the protection of the European Union", said Jane Foley, senior foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank.

Political pundits in Britain are also attributing the move as a direct attack on a weakened Opposition, the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

"Staff have ensured that we still have one of the best health services in the world, but years of underinvestment while patient demand has been rising means that it is now failing too many people, too often". "If you put all those things together they equal a general election".

Osborne says he's stepping down to focus on his new role as editor of the London Evening Standard.

Andrew Smith, the former work and pensions secretary, announced that he was standing down from his seat in Oxford East after 30 years.