Theresa May has announced a snap general election.
The general election will be held on June 8.
The prime minister said she had just emerged from a meeting of the cabinet and that they had decided on the need for a general election.
She said the country is united at the moment but Westminster isn’t.
The Prime Minister had repeatedly denied that she would call an election before the next scheduled poll in 2020.
But following a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street she said she would go to the country this year.
Explaining her change of heart on an early election, Mrs May said: ‘’I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.’’
May will tomorrow move a motion to call an election, requiring a two thirds majority in the Commons under the fixed term parliament act.
She said she has a ‘simple challenge’ to the opposition: “This is your chance to show you don’t treat politics as a game.”
Mrs May said she was acting now because of the opposition in Parliament to the government's plans for Brexit.
"Our opponents believe because the government's majority is so small that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change. They are wrong," she said.
"They under-estimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country, because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the government's negotiating position in Europe."
She concluded by saying it was “with reluctance” that she reached her decision but added: “It is with strong conviction that I believe it is necessary to secure a strong and stable leadership this country needs.”