Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election


Gina Miller is attempting to raise £10,000 through crowdfunding to encourage tactical voting during the United Kingdom's upcoming elections this summer which were unexpectedly called by Prime Minister May.

They voted 522 to 13 to authorise an early poll, with the Prime Minister easily securing the support of two-thirds of MPs required to dissolve Parliament and bring the election forward from the scheduled date of 2020.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday defended her decision to call an early election for June, saying it would strengthen the government's hand in negotiations to leave the European Union.

On Wednesday afternoon her proposal of an early general election in June sailed through the House of Commons. The Lib Dems now have just nine seats in Parliament. A two-thirds majority of MPs must agree to a move that will shorten the lifespan of a parliament.

"What do we know that the leader of the Labour Party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common?" she asked parliament.

May has already won approval from Queen Elizabeth for the snap election.

"I believe that at this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, not division", she said.

Downing Street said the June election will not affect May's Brexit timetable.

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She told The Sun she chose to reverse earlier pledges not to go to the country early because she wanted to be able to go into Brexit negotiations with the "backing of the British people" as her "very clear mandate".

Jeremy Corbyn will vow he "won't play by the rules" if Labour wins power in June's General Election. She had resisted calls for an early election from within her own party for months. Some opinion polls have put Labour more than 20 points behind the Conservatives.

The governing Conservative Party now has a narrow majority of 17 seats in the House of Commons.

Labour's top ranks convened an emergency meeting after Mrs May's announcement on Tuesday, where Mr Corbyn told MPs he did not underestimate the task ahead, but "let's get out there".

Rejecting the PM's claim that an election is needed to prevent disunity at Westminster undermining a Brexit deal, Mr Corbyn said: "There is no obstacle to the Government negotiating, but, instead of getting on with the job, she is painting herself as the prisoner of the Liberal Democrats". We can't win, they say, because we don't play their game.

But the source said: "Any suggestion we are going to change our approach to the inclusion of overseas students in the migration statistics is plain wrong".

Meanwhile the Scottish National Party (SNP), which holds most of the seats in Scotland, is pushing its demands for a second referendum on independence in order to maintain close ties with the EU.

Mr Corbyn is resisting Theresa May's efforts to cast the election as a vote on Brexit, insisting that it gives voters a chance to pass judgement on the Conservatives' record on austerity and public spending cuts. "The election will be dominated by Brexit, and the Labour Party will have to finally clarify its position".

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