MPs back Theresa May's call for June general election
MPs voted 522 to 13 in favour of the snap general election on 8 June
Theresa May in Parliament - Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The UK will go to the polls on 8 June after MPs backed Theresa May's call for a snap general election.
They voted by 522 to 13 in favour of the move – easily clearing the two-thirds majority needed to override the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.
This kick-starts a seven-week campaign in which the Conservatives are odds-on favourites to massively increase their overall majority at Westminster.
The historic vote followed a 90-minute Commons debate in which the Prime Minister said Parliament must decide "how best to secure the stability and certainty we need" ahead of the Brexit negotiations.
May said: "I've come to the conclusion that the answer to that question is to hold a general election now in this window of opportunity before the negotiations begin...Securing the right deal for Britain is my priority and I'm confident we have the plan to do it."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the election "gives the British people the chance to change direction".
"This election is about her government’s failure to rebuild the economy and living standards for the majority," he said.
"It is about the crisis her government has plunged our NHS into, the cuts to our children’s schools which will limit the chances of every child in Britain – four million of whom now live in poverty.
"A chance of an alternative to raise living standards as more and more people do not have security in their work or in their housing."
SNP MPs abstained in this afternoon’s vote. SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson said the election would be a straight fight in Scotland between the Nationalists and the Conservatives.
Earlier, Theresa May came under fire during Prime Minister's Questions for refusing to take part in TV debates in the run-up to 8 June.
Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman say nothing has changed and Scots should still be given a vote on the Brexit deal
Gerry Adams said Sinn Fein would “resolutely oppose” any preferential treatment for British forces
The triple lock on pensions and non-means tested winter fuel payments will also continue as part of the deal
The Tory campaign consultant recommended “harnessing the uncertainty” of Brexit for a No vote