Britain’s largest opposition party, Labour, welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to hold a general election on June 8.
“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 leader Jeremy Corbyn said.
Mr. Corbyn’s approval of the plan means May’s motion to parliament is likely to achieve its required two-thirds majority comfortably in a vote on Wednesday.
“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 National Health Service.
“We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain,” Mr. Corby said.
In another development, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter that Ms. May’s decision to call for a snap election is an effort by her Conservatives “to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts.”
Ms. Sturgeon and Ms. May are also at odds over plans for a second Scottish independence referendum.
Angus Robertson, leader of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) lawmakers in London, tweeted that the snap election on June 8 would be a “straight choice in Scotland between the SNP and Tories.”
“Whatever happened to ‘now is not the time’?” he said, referring to Ms. May’s previous statements that there would be no early polls.
NAN reports that Ms. May announced that she wants to hold a snap general election on June 8.
Ms. May said she had decided “reluctantly” an election is needed after earlier ruling out any election before 2020.
“I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election,” she said outside Downing Street, the British prime minister’s residence in central London.
She accused the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, as well as the Scottish National Party and the House of Lords, parliament’s upper house, of seeking to delay her Brexit plans.
“If we do not hold an election now, their political gameplaying will continue,” Ms. May said.
“So, we need a general election and we need one now,” she said.
“It will be a choice between strong, stable leadership… or weak [Labour-Liberal Democrat] coalition government.”
Under Britain’s fixed-term parliament act, Ms. May must win the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers in parliament’s main house, the Commons, before proceeding with an earlier vote.