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BREAKING NEWS: Theresa May calls snap general election on June 8 to SAVE Brexit

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KEY POINTS:

• Theresa May calls for election on June 8

• MPs will vote tomorrow in the House of Commons on whether to back her call – the PM requires a two-thirds majority

• Labour, Liberal Democrats and Ukip welcome election

• PM urges voters to back Tories and avoid ‘unstable’ coalition of Labour, Lib Dems and SNP

• Former PM David Cameron backs May’s ‘brave and right’ decision

A determined Mrs May made the shock announcement in Downing Street immediately after chairing Cabinet this morning.

She urged voters – who will go to the polls in just seven weeks – to hand her a mandate for her approach to Brexit and to unite behind the UK’s exit from the EU.

In a furious blast at rival politicians’ meddling since the Brexit vote, Mrs May hit out at “political game-playing” that is damaging her negotiating position with Brussels and ability to prepare Britain for leaving the EU.

The Prime Minister claimed she had “only recently and reluctantly” decided to call for an election, with Downing Street having previously been adamant the Prime Minister would not go to the country before May 2020.

Last week, during Parliament’s Easter recess, the Prime Minister spent a few days walking in Wales with her husband Philip during which she now appears to have contemplated on today’s decision.

Mrs May only has a slim working majority of 17 MPs in the House of Commons and will face huge battles from Remain-supporting MPs over the proposed Great Repeal Bill to end the supremacy of EU law.

She urged voters to back the Conservatives and avoid a “weak and unstable coalition” of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP when they head to polling stations on June 8.

Theresa MayPA

Theresa May has called a general election for June 8

The Government will now have to negotiate the Fixed-Terms Parliaments Act put in place by David Cameron in order to secure an election on June 8.

The Prime Minister will ask two-thirds of MPs to back her call for an early election in a House of Commons vote tomorrow, thereby allowing her to bypass the Act’s provision for fixed five-year terms.

Labour signalled they will back an early election with Jeremy Corbyn welcoming Mrs May’s announcement. If MPs back the Prime Minister’s motion for an election tomorrow, Parliament will be dissolved on May 3.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Labour leader Mr Corbyn said: “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.

“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.

“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country.

“We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”