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United Kingdom to hold snap general election on June 8
20 April 2017, 02:20 | Melissa Porter
As the debate began, former chancellor George Osborne - who has recently been appointed editor of the "London Evening Standard" - announced he would not be standing for election on June 8.
The prime minister's own personal ratings also dwarf those of Corbyn, with 50 per cent of those asked saying she would make the best prime minister.
Today Sterling was down 0.2% against the U.S. dollar, which meant it was at its highest level since the start of October at 1.281.
"I think it is right now to ask the British people, to put their trust in me and the Conservative Party to deliver on their vote past year a Brexit plan that will make a success for this country and deliver a stronger, fairer global Britain in the future".
"It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond", she said.
Labour veteran Dennis Skinner, one of those who voted against holding an election, told MPs earlier in the House of Commons that May should ban all Tory MPs involved in the alleged election expenses investigation from the 2015 election from the upcoming election.
The announcement has come as a surprise because the next election isn't due to happen until 2020.
"Now is the time for a general election because it will strengthen our hand in negotiations on Brexit", she said.
"I believe that at this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, not division", she said.
Britain joins a list of western European countries scheduled to hold elections this year.
May's Conservatives have 330 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons and are polling well ahead of Labour, the main Opposition party.
"The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union and it will have no say in the location of EU agencies", said Margaritis Schinas.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the election call as "a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister" which would allow the SNP to reinforce its democratic mandate to stage a second referendum on independence. "It's about. getting the right deal from Europe", she said. The British public deserve to hear the party leaders set out their plans and debate them publicly.
May said that opponents were intent on "frustrating the Brexit process", even after Parliament authorized talks with the EU.
In contrast, nearly all the MPs in May's Conservatives party (325 out of 330) voted for the early election.
The prime minister formally ruled out taking part in televised head to head debates before the June 8 election in a BBC interview yesterday.
Speaking on Wednesday's Inside Politics podcast, Prof Tim Bale said another poor election result for Labour would likely mean the party, which has been in opposition for seven years, will spend at least another 10 years in the political wilderness.
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Despite Corbyn's bravado, his party is demoralized and divided under his left-wing leadership and is expected to fare badly. TV debates don't have a long history in British politics, but were a feature of the last two elections, in 2010 and 2015.
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