UK General election

UK Prime Minister to seek early election

In an unexpected statement at Downing Street, May said she was seeking a vote on June 8, less than halfway through the government's five-year term.

May, who commands only a slim majority in parliament's lower House of Commons, said that a new mandate would strengthen her hand in negotiations in Brexit talks.

Her decision is a reversal of policy -- since taking over as Prime Minister, May had repeatedly ruled out an early election.