British Prime Minister Theresa May Calls for Snap Election on June 8

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that she would ask for a snap election to be held June 8 – less than a year after voters decided to take the U.K. out of the European Union.

Parliament is expected to vote on the proposed election Wednesday. Although many lawmakers were surprised by May’s decision, they are likely to grant the two-thirds majority approval necessary for an early election, suspending the law that had set the next general election for 2020.

Both Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, and Tim Farron, who heads the Liberal Democrats, said they welcomed the prime minister’s decision.

May had previously rejected suggestions of a snap election after becoming prime minister less than a year ago, in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016. But she said she now felt a general election was needed to bring greater unity to the government as divorce negotiations between Britain and the E.U. begin in earnest. The government gave formal notice of the U.K.’s intention to leave the E.U. on March 29.

“I have only recently and reluctantly come to this decision” to seek a general election, May said in her shock announcement, delivered in a news conference outside 10 Downing St. on Tuesday morning.

She poured cold water on hopes by Brexit opponents that a general election could result in a reversal of the decision to withdraw from the E.U. “Britain is leaving the European Union,” she declared, “and there can be no turning back.”

May said her administration had already given Britain the “certainty, stability and strong leadership” the country needed after the referendum. She said that despite predictions of immediate financial and economic doom, Britain had seen “consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.”

But the Brexit negotiations have opened up divisions within Parliament, including her own Conservative Party, over what kind of settlement Britain should make with the E.U. May said an election would help end that. “If we don’t hold a general election now, the political game-playing will continue and cause damaging uncertainty and instability in the country,” she said.

The pound dropped sharply ahead of May’s statement, but recovered soon afterward.

More Biz

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Weapons Cache

    D.A. Files 64 Charges in Bel-Air Weapons Stockpile Case

    The L.A. County District Attorney’s office has filed 64 counts against Girard Saenz, the man who allegedly kept a stockpile of more than 1,000 weapons at a Bel-Air home linked to the Getty family. Saenz is accused of illegal possession of assault weapons, transferring handguns without a dealer license, possession of short-barreled shotguns, and possession [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Digital Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

  • Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House

    Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House for Local Residents Before Permit Review Tuesday

    If nothing else, the producers of Woodstock 50 are persistent. After two permit applications to hold the troubled festival at the Vernon Downs racetrack in Upstate New York were rejected by the town of Vernon codes office, the producers and venue owner Jeffrey Gural today invited the local community “to embrace the Festival’s spirit of [...]

  • ILM Star Wars The Force Awakens

    ILM to Open Latest Effects Facility in Sydney, Australia

    Sydney, Australia, is to be home to Industrial Light & Magic’s fifth production hub. The Disney-owned special effects company currently has facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Singapore. The decision to open the Sydney outpost was announced Monday local time by executive creative director and head of ILM Rob Bredow, ILM executive Luke Hetherington, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content