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Apr 18, 2017 05:12 PM IST | Source: PTI

Theresa May calls for early election on June 8

Sterling rose against the dollar after May made the surprise announcement outside her Downing Street office.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for an early election on June 8, saying the government had the right plan for negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union and she needed political unity in London.

Sterling rose against the dollar after May made the surprise announcement outside her Downing Street office.

"I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet where we agreed that the government should call a General Election to be held on the 8th of June," May said.

Earlier May had said that she will not be calling a snap election and that there should be no elections until 2020.

However, in her speech on Tuesday she said, "The only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election."

On Wednesday May will move a motion in the House of Commons calling for general election to be held on June 8 and she will need Parliament's backing to hold a vote before 2020.

Explaining the decision, May indicated that the move will help unite the political corridors of the country.

Speaking outside her Downing Street residence in London, May, 60, warned that "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".

The dramatic move comes against the backdrop of the country's decision to leave the European Union in the last year's referendum.

Britain's next election was due to have been held in 2020, according to a legislation but the law can be overruled if two-thirds of lawmakers in the British parliament vote in favour of early elections.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed May's decision to hold the snap election.

"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 said.

with inputs from Reuters.
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