BBC:-UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June.
She said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum.
Explaining the decision, Mrs May said: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not.”
There will be a Commons vote on the proposed election on Wednesday – Labour have said they will vote with the government.
The prime minister needs Parliament’s backing to hold a vote before the next scheduled date of 2020.
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.”
Mrs May accused Britain’s other political parties of “game playing”, adding that this risks “our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country”.
“So we need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one off chance to get this done.”
In a statement outside Number 10, Mrs May said Labour had threatened to vote against the final Brexit agreement, the Liberal Democrats had stated they wanted to “grind the business of government to a standstill”, the SNP had said they would vote against the negotiations and “unelected” members of the House of Lords had vowed “to fight us every step of the way”.
“If we don’t hold a general election now, their political game-playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run up to the next general election,” she said.
The PM challenged the opposition parties: “This is your moment to show you mean it – to show you’re not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.
“Let’s tomorrow vote for an election – let’s put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide.”