Havering MPs divided over general election announcement

Asked whether the Islington North MP would lead Labour into the 8 June general election, his spokesman said: "Yes, of course".

In her speech she said that she had "only recently and reluctantly came to this conclusion" to hold election and was the "only way to govern with certainty".

The vote for Brexit last June brought tensions between Corbyn's team and the more centrist MPs to a head after the leader - a long-time eurosceptic - was accused of sabotaging the campaign to stay in the European Union, the party's official position. 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 has exceeded all expectations.

May accused the opposition of "weakening the Government's position in London, especially when it comes to the negotiations".

Voters in the United Kingdom shocked the world last summer in a referendum when a majority chose to leave the European Union.

The split from the European Union means Britain will regain control of its money, laws and borders, and be able to strike its own trade deals, the prime minister said.

"They are under threat from so many different angles - in Scotland from the SNP (Scottish National Party); from the Liberal Democrats in the cities; the Conservatives and possibly UKIP (UK Independence Party) in the north". At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity but there is division. "The country is coming together, but Westminster is not".

A general election would end the attempts of opposition parties and members of the House of Lords to thwart her Brexit plans, she said.

"I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people".

Perhaps most importantly, she can put off the next round of elections until 2022, offering more breathing room for both sides as they rush to complete Brexit negotiations before Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.

She said "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".

"We need a general election and we need one now", May said outside 10 Downing Street.

But one of his MPs has already said he can not stand on 8 June while Mr Corbyn is at the helm of the party. However, a Press Association projection based on an average of recent polls suggests that Conservatives could gain 56 seats, leaving Mrs May with a comfortable Commons majority of 124 seats.

"The RCN will challenge all parties to give health and care services the funding and staff they need for safe patient care", she said. But, after thinking "long and hard" during a walking holiday in Wales, decided it was necessary to try to stop the opposition "jeopardising" her work on Brexit.

"It has been a great honour representing Crawley in the House of Commons since 2010 and I now look forward to putting the Conservative case to the people of my home town to continue serving our great community and our great country".

He said: "I have made no secret about my significant and irreconcilable differences with the current Labour leadership".

It is a sharp U-turn for May, who has repeatedly told media since she became Prime Minister last year that no general election would be held until 2020, as general elections are held in the United Kingdom every five years.

The 67-year-old enjoys grassroots support from left-wingers but is opposed by most of the party's more centrist lawmakers, who say that Labour under his leadership is not appealing to the middle classes.