London: British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election on June 8 in a surprise announcement today as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union.
    
"We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done... before the detailed talks begin," May said.

She said that since Britons voted to leave the EU in June, the country had come together, but politicians had not.

She said the divisions risk undermining Britain's position in Brexit negotiations that lie ahead.

Under Britain's Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the prime minister can call an election if two-thirds of lawmakers vote for it. The leader of the main opposition Labour Party has previously said he would back such a call.

(AFP/AP)