Thursday 19 April 2018

Is Theresa May set to announce snap election in Britain?

Theresa May. Photo: AP
Theresa May. Photo: AP

Arj Singh, Press Association Political Correspondent

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May is to make a statement in Downing Street at 11.15am after Cabinet.

In an unusual move, Number 10 did not announce what subject she would address but statements by the Prime Minister in the street are usually reserved for big announcements.

There is speculation that Mrs May could call a snap general election, although Downing Street has always denied she will call a vote before the next scheduled poll in 2020.

The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act sets the general election date as the first Thursday in May every five years, meaning 2020 is the next expected contest.

But Mrs May could call an early election if two-thirds of MPs in the Commons vote for it and Jeremy Corbyn has previously indicated Labour would support such a move.

In March Downing Street strenuously denied Mrs May would call a vote before 2020.

A Number 10 source said the Prime Minister has been "clear and consistent in her position: that she does not think there should be" an early general election, while another added: "It's not going to happen."

But with a Commons working majority of just 17, and a healthy opinion poll lead over Labour, senior Tories have suggested Mrs May should go to the country in order to strengthen her Parliamentary position.

Such a move would also give a mandate both for her leadership and her negotiating position on Brexit before talks with the European Union start in earnest.

More to follow

Press Association

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