Theresa May has announced that an early General Election will take place on 8 June – and Jeremy Corbyn’s response has raised more than a few eyebrows.
The Prime Minister laid out her plans for the shock move in a speech outside Number 10 following a meeting with her Cabinet.
Jeremy Corbyn has said that he welcomes Mrs May’s decision, meaning that the required two thirds of MPs will give their support.
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) 18 April 2017
But the Labour leader failed to mention the word “Brexit” a single time in his official response, choosing instead to focus on other issues.
The Labour leader 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.
‘In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
She said: “Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that.
“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.
In contrast to Mr Corbyn, Tim Farron came out with a bullish response on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, saying: ‘If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
‘Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.’
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the decision a ‘huge political miscalculation’ and ‘one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history’.
UKIP leader Paul Nuttal drew on the issue of immigration in his response on Twitter.
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
SNP Angus Roberston pointed out the PM’s abrupt about turn on the issue of an early General Election.
— Angus Robertson (@AngusRobertson) April 18, 2017
And Labour MPs Andy Burnham and Jess Phillips accused Mrs May of failing to put her country’s best interests first.
Tory Party puts its own interests before the national interest.
— Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) April 18, 2017
So much for putting country before party
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) April 18, 2017
Mrs May’s predecessor David Cameron had kinder words, praising her decision.