Prime Minister Theresa May today announced her intention to call a General Election on 8 June 2017.
Making a statement outside 10 Downing Street this morning, she cited political opposition to the Government’s approach to Brexit as the principal reason for why she was calling the election.
She said there was a need for unity and delcared that she was not prepared to allow her political opponents to jeopardise the UK’s Brexit negotiating position. She argued there should be no turning back on the decision made in the EU Referendum last June.
Ms May said there was a need for a General Election and now was the opportune moment for one to be held. Having said this, the Prime Minister said she had only recently and reluctantly come to her conclusion about the need for a General Election - a possibility that had been energetically ruled out by official Government spokespeople as recently as late March.
In terms of the logistics of the vote, the Prime Minister explained she would be moving a motion in the House of Commons on Wednesday 19 April, under the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act. This would require at least a two-thirds majority of the whole House to pass, and she called on the other political parties to back the motion.
Coninuing, she said that the public had to decide on who would be the best candidate to lead the UK and contended that the Conservatives would provide stability and certainty whilst acting in the national interest. The alternative, under a Government led by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and propped up by the other parties, would create instability and weakness in Brexit negotiations, she added.
Concluding, the Prime Minister reiterated her contention that the UK needed strong and stable leadership during the Brexit negotiations and for the long-term interests of the UK as a whole.
With the UK Prime Minister no longer able to directly dissolve Parliament under the terms of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, Theresa May will now seek a two-thirds majority among MPs for a simple motion calling for an early election.
At least 434 MPs will need to support it - Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP have already declared their support.
The date for the poll is set according to the wishes of the Prime Minister, but Parliament must be dissolved at least 25 days before it takes place.
In the meanwhile, the Civil Service and ministers will find themselves bound by the terms of a special restrictive period called Purdah. Purdah dictates that certain politically-sensitive activities may not take place as the election approaches.
General Election 2017 - Definitively covered
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Reflecting the significance of infrastructure across DeHavilland's client portfolio, Matthew Bentley provides monitoring and research for the transport, construction and housing sectors. Matthew graduated from the University of Leicester with a BA in History and Politics.