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Live: Theresa May calls for snap General Election on June 8

Theresa May has called for a snap General Election on June 8.

It comes less than a month after Downing Street said an early election was "not going to happen".

Here are the latest developments:

  • Mrs May said she had "reluctantly" come to the decision as Westminster was too divided going into Brexit negotiations
  • The prime minister needs the backing of two-thirds of MPs to hold the election, with a vote due in the Commons on Wednesday
  • Mrs May told ITV News she made the decision during her recent walking holiday in Wales
  • Opposition party leaders, including Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, have welcomed the announcement
  • Nicola Sturgeon said Mrs May has made a "huge political miscalculation"
  • The pound rose against the dollar following the news
View all 37 updates ›

Duncan Smith backs PM's move for Brexit talks mandate

Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith backed Theresa May's early election call. Credit: ITV News

Former Conservative cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has told ITV News that Theresa May is right to pursue a mandate early in Brexit talks by calling for a snap general election.

"The choice for voters is 'do you want a strong leader of a strong party to take you through these difficult (Brexit) negotiations?'," the backbench Tory MP said.

Mr Duncan Smith praised Mrs May as "one of the strongest leaders" since Margaret Thatcher and said her election U-turn was justified to strengthen her hand in the negotiations to leave the EU.

"What she's saying to the British people is 'we've got a lot to do and we need that mandate to do it now at the start of that process rather than waiting for a problem to arise and having to come back to say look we've hit a problem'," he said.

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