Theresa May wins Parliament's backing for snap UK election

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8. Picture: AP

Mr. Corbyn said that May couldn't expect voters to trust her after such a sudden row back.

"We welcome the general election". But this is a prime minister who promised there wouldn't be one. He said Mrs May's U-turn on her previous insistence that she would not call a snap election showed she could not be trusted.

She claimed that divisions in Parliament risked hampering Brexit negotiations and that she wanted "unity".

"I've taken this decision because I genuinely believe it is in the national interest", May told BBC radio.

'It's important to make sure we get the strongest possible mandate to deliver the best deal with our European friends.

While promising to run a "positive and optimistic campaign", she said the choice at the election was between her "strong and stable leadership" or a "coalition of chaos" led by Mr Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn will continue: "They say I don't play by the rules - their rules". Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate.

But a Downing Street source indicated that the Prime Minister would flatly reject any proposal for a TV showdown, telling the Press Association: "Our answer is no". "It may give her more room to manoeuvre", one senior European Union official said of an increased May majority.

Corbyn, however, wasn't having any of it.

Mrs May has faced criticism from rival parties for refusing to take part in head-to-head TV debates against other leaders during the campaign.

"She can not be allowed to run away from her duty to democracy and refuse to let the British people hear the arguments directly".

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.

"Labour is the party that will put the interests of the majority first...."

"That's why it is the right and responsible thing for all of us here today to vote for a general election".

Defending the measure, Mrs May told MPs there was a "window of opportunity" to hold a poll before Brexit negotiations began in earnest in June and that the country needed "strong leadership" to make a success of the process.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that if the "parliamentary arithmetic" supported it she would form a "progressive alliance" to keep Prime Minister Theresa May from returning to power.

Senior Tories see the three measures as essential in delivering last year's referendum result. "This election can change the direction of our country, from the consequences of a potential hard Brexit outside the single market to the future of our NHS and social care, our schools and our environment", said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

The Prime Minister's decision to hold a snap vote has left just days to get outstanding Bills passed before Parliament ends to allow the nation to go to the polls.

Former Conservative Justice Secretary and staunch Leave campaigner Michael Gove said he knew Mrs.

Mrs May could also be ready to ditch promises made in David Cameron's 2015 general election manifesto, such as the commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid. If that polling holds true, British voters could increase the conservatives' majority to 100 seats or more when they head to the polls in June, giving May more leverage in upcoming talks with the EU.

Recent polls have given the Conservatives a comfortable lead: one conducted by YouGov on the 12-13 April found that 44 per cent supported the Conservatives, against 23 per cent for Labour and 12 per cent for the Liberal Democrats. A landslide for the Tories could see them wrestle up to 56 seats away from the opposition, thus giving the Conservatives total control of the House of Commons.