Theresa May has won the backing of Parliament for her plan to hold a snap general election on June 8.
The vote was required by law, but her motion to hold the election was carried with broad support from across the House of Commons.
Both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and top Liberal Democrat Tim Farron backed the move, while Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP abstained.
MPs backed the motion by 522 votes to 13. This gives the PM her two-thirds majority, which is required to call an election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
Opening a Commons debate on the election motion the Prime Minister told MPs it was time to “put our fate in the hands of the people and let the people decide” and that her party would provide “strong and stable leadership in the national interest”.
But Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister’s U-turn showed she could not be trusted to run the country.
“The Prime Minister talks about a strong economy, but the truth is most people are worse off then they were when the Conservatives came to power seven years ago. The election gives the British people the chance to change direction,” he said.
“This election is about her Government’s failure to rebuild the economy and living standards for the majority.”
The few MPs who voted against a general election were mostly Labour rebels, including Clive Lewis, Liz McInnes, and Dennis Skinner. Two former SNP independents, Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thompson also voted against, as did SDLP MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell.
More to follow…