Theresa May has announced plans to hold a general election on June 8 citing political opposition to the Tories’ Brexit strategy.
Labour welcomed the move, while Unite said that people now have a choice between “a Conservative party which is determined to pursue a hard, disastrous Brexit” or a Labour party “which is presenting real, positive change.”
In a spectacular U-turn the Prime Minister said there will be a snap general election in 51 days’ time because of opposition to the government’s Brexit stance by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and the House of Lords.
“We need a general election and we need one now,” said May.
The Prime Minister, who has repeatedly denied that she would take the country to the polls, said the decision was made “reluctantly” but was needed to “guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately supported the move.
He said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.”
Unite acting general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said the public will remember that May has “gone back on her word regarding an early general election”.
She said: “The country now has a choice between whether to vote for a Conservative party which is determined to pursue a hard, disastrous Brexit and is wedded to continuing with miserable austerity and destroying the rights and living standards of working people, or a Labour party which is presenting real, positive change based on a fairer economy and determined to ensure that on leaving the EU, jobs and communities can thrive.
“Labour has the policy platform that voters want. Now it is time to take it to the country and win the change working people so urgently need. During this upcoming electoral period Unite’s work to support members at their workplaces will continue unimpeded.”