Theresa May Drops Political Bombshell

Calls for surprise early election in June
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2017 6:07 AM CDT
May Stuns British Politics With Call for Early Election
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to speak to the media outside her official residence of 10 Downing Street in London Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

British Prime Minister Theresa May dropped what's seen as a political bombshell Tuesday with a surprise call for an early election in June. The next election had been scheduled for 2020, and May had repeatedly ruled out a snap election before then, but the fallout over Brexit has changed things, reports the Guardian. "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election," said May, per the BBC. Last month, May formally set things in motion for Britain to exit the European Union in two years, and she complained Tuesday that opposition parties, including Labour, were threatening to hold up the process.

“The country is coming together but Westminster is not," she said. Essentially, May is betting that voters will give her ruling Conservative Party a mandate as the complex EU negotiations continue, explains the New York Times. The flip side, of course, is that a loss would cast "deep uncertainty" over the talks, notes the Washington Post. May's party currently holds 330 seats of the 650-seat House of Commons. She wants the election held on June 8, but it's not a certainty: May will formally propose the idea to the House of Commons on Wednesday, where it must be approved by a two-thirds majority. May could also try to repeal the 2011 law requiring that two-thirds majority, notes the Times. (More Theresa May stories.)

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