Corbyn ridicules 'Lib Dem prisoner' May in election debate

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The main opposition Labour Party welcomed May's election call, meaning that it is nearly a foregone conclusion that May will obtain the two thirds support she needs in the House of Commons for the election to be held. There were also a number of abstentions.

Praising MPs for backing her during a stump speech in the north-west of England, the PM said: "It's great to be here in Bolton, fresh from the House of Commons, fresh from winning a vote in the House of Commons, which has approved my decision to hold a general election on June 8".

She said that "Brexit isn't just about the letter that says we want to leave".

The election is the fourth major vote in four years, after last June's European Union referendum, the 2015 general election, and the 2014 Scottish independence vote.

Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced Tuesday a snap general election to be held on June 8.

The next general election wasn't due until 2020, one year after Brexit talks are scheduled to conclude.

Tusk will chair a summit of the other 27 European Union national leaders in Brussels on April 29, where he expects them to agree negotiating guidelines he has proposed.

The Conservatives are set to gain 40 seats in June's snap general election to secure a majority of 90, according to betting market data.

Following the election decision, the parliament will be dissolved on May 2.

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Opening a Commons debate on the election motion the Prime Minister told MPs it was time to "put our fate in the hands of the people and let the people decide" and that her party would provide "strong and stable leadership in the national interest".

Turning to Corbyn, she added: "Whereas the right honourable gentleman opposite would bankrupt our economy, weaken our defences and is simply not fit to lead".

The former interior minister, who became Prime Minister without an election when her predecessor David Cameron quit after last year's referendum vote for Brexit, enjoys a runaway lead over the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.

"It is unsustainable in the multimedia age of the 21st century to go to the country but not debate with the leaders of the other parties".

And Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood - whose profile received a major boost from her involvement in two of the 2015 broadcasts - said: "Theresa May should be empty chaired if she doesn't show up to any planned TV debates".

Sterling rose to a four-month high against the United States dollar after the market bet that May would strengthen her parliamentary majority, which Deutsche Bank said would be a "game-changer" for the pound.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that, for Ms May, calling the election is "the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby".

Mrs May replied: "I know it's taken you a little time to get the hang of these Prime Minister's Questions but I have to say to you that week in, week out you stand up and ask me questions and I respond to those questions".

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

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