MP backs election call but business is anxious

The Latest: Germany hopes UK election to help Brexit clarity

In another twist, Downing Street's director of communications, Katie Perrior, quit: "Always said I wouldn't stay past an election".

"However, on the current polling, the likelihood is we will be left with a Government on a more secure footing that will ensure Brexit means Brexit".

MPs must approve decision to dissolve Parliament part-way through full term.

Media captionJeremy Corbyn: "I want to lead a government that will transform this country" Could she lose?

"I am pleased she has made this decision - it will be good to get a firm mandate for when we are negotiating with the European Union over Brexit".

"Ultimately, we see potential for the election to be a significant positive for the United Kingdom in the medium term, as the victorious party is likely to hold greater authority".

"At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division".

"We need a general election and we need one now" said May, in the shock announcement.

It is also a risky roll of the political dice.

She is hoping to win a stronger position in the House of Commons, where her Conservative Party has a small majority.

Most parliamentary systems require elections to be called at certain times (at least every so many years, that sort of thing).

The party's MEP for the East of England Alex Mayer said: "The Prime Minister is playing with fire holding an early general election this June".

In an unexpected statement at Downing Street, May said she was starting the process of calling a vote, less than halfway through the government's term, BBC reported.

As Conservative chairwoman in 2002, she made waves by suggesting the Tories were seen as "the nasty party" and needed to overhaul their image - something that they did under Cameron's leadership.

Asked if he was the next prime minister, Mr Corbyn said: 'If we win the election, yes. "So, tomorrow, let the House of Commons vote for an election, let everybody put forward their proposals for Brexit and their programmes for government, and let us remove the risk of uncertainty and instability and continue to give the country the strong and stable leadership it demands".

Liberal Democrat Julie Ireland said the party was "excited and delighted" by the news, confirming she would be running for Col. Stewart's seat. He continued to explained: "If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit".

The dramatic announcement caps almost a year of tumult in British politics following the Brexit vote in June 2016 that included the resignation of May's predecessor David Cameron and her rapid rise to power last year.

Prime Minister Theresa May last month formally triggered Britain's exit talks, nine months after the country voted in a referendum to leave the EU. She added that her decision wasn't "about political games" but "about what is right for the country".

MPs will vote on Wednesday to approve her plan. But even that basic framework - which spelled out that Britain would leave the EU's single market - caused divisions in her party and involved several rounds of deliberations before a coherent plan could be presented.

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