James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
18 April 2017, 11:44
Politicians and pundits respond to Theresa May's call for a snap general election on June 8.
The Prime Minister made the shock announcement outside Downing Street just after 11:05am today.
The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, said he "welcomed" the opportunity for people to have their say.
I welcome the PM’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first pic.twitter.com/9P3X6A2Zpw— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) April 18, 2017
Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, which have positioned themselves as the party for people who voted Remain, said that people now had a chance to change the direction of the country.
This is your chance to change the direction of your country pic.twitter.com/wfj4wC7yn3— Tim Farron (@timfarron) April 18, 2017
The leader of Ukip, Paul Nuttall, said that every vote for Ukip "will be a reminder to the PM that the British people want a clean Brexit with restored borders".
Every vote for @UKIP in this General Election will be a reminder to the PM that the British people want a clean Brexit with restored borders
— Paul Nuttall (@paulnuttallukip) April 18, 2017
In a later statement Nuttall said that May's move was a "cynical decision driven more by the weakness of Corbyn's Labour Party than the good of the country."
The leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, said that the government would use the election to take the country to the right and try to push through a hard Brexit and deeper cuts.
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said her party would present a "bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain''.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron said that his successor was "brave" and "right" to call an early election.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said that a general election was in the country's interest and would strenghten "PM's negotiating hand in Europe."
Labour MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, confirmed this morning that he will not stand in the June election, citing "significant and irreconcilable differences" with the current Labour leadership.
In Clacton, former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell will face former Ukip donor Aaron Banks for the seat.
The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said that he had had a "good phone call" with May regarding the election.