Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

United Kingdom to hold snap general election on June 8

United Kingdom to hold snap general election on June 8

Parliament will vote at about 2pm on whether to call an election for June 8.

The election announcement caused a rally in the pound, which had fallen since the Brexit vote, amid speculation that May will be returned with a stronger mandate. "Give me the mandate to speak for Britain".

If @Theresa_May is so proud of her record, why is she dodging head-to-head TV debates with me? "That's what our plans for Brexit and our plans for a stronger Britain will deliver".

Bolton North East is a held by Labour's Sir David Crausby, who has a majority of 4,377, and is a Conservative target.

The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper, splashed the headline "Blue Murder" - a reference to the Conservatives' party colour and the prospect of Labour losing dozens of seats.

British elections are fixed in law but can be changed with a two-thirds majority in the Commons - a threshold easily passed during Wednesday's vote.

In a decision that has shaken the political landscape of the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her intention to have a snap election on 8 June.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told her: "She says it's about leadership, yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates and it's not hard to see why".

But as she spoke, Mr Corbyn explicitly ruled out any post-election coalition with the SNP, insisting that he would not do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon's party to forge a so-called "progressive alliance", as hers was not a progressive party.

Blair, who won three general elections as the former leader of Labour Party, said in statement on Wednesday that May wanted to force the final European Union deal upon the people regardless of how good or bad it might be and that she would seek to suppress any opposition through a landslide victory in the upcoming vote.

The prime minister said Labour would "bankrupt" the United Kingdom and only the Tories could ensure a "strong economy and defence" and make a success of Brexit.

The German government says that it doesn't expect a British election in June to hold up talks on Britain's exit from the European Union. "It's about. getting the right deal from Europe", she said.

"She looked across the despatch box and could not resist the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby", Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said in a debate in the Commons before the vote.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In an interview with the BBC later, he hinted that in his new role, he could become a thorn in the side of Theresa May, who sacked him when she became prime minister.

In fact, May's decision on Tuesday may shore up her party's negotiating position in upcoming talks.

The premier has already backed out from televised debates, drawing fire from Corbyn.

May also wants an election now so she doesn't have to be preparing for one in 2019, when the Brexit negotiations will be reaching their climax.

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