ITV has confirmed it will host a leaders' debate during the general election campaign, despite Theresa May's insistence that she will not take part.

The parliament on Wednesday voted 522 to 13 in favour of the election taking place on June 8.

May, who had taken charge as Prime Minister just weeks after Britain's voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, had repeatedly dismissed the idea of an early election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon used two of his questions in the House of Commons to attack the government on school funding.

A number of MPs abstained from Wednesday's vote, including those with the Scottish National Party.

Britain is now gearing up for its third general election in seven years, which comes less than a year after the divisive referendum that decided the United Kingdom would withdraw from the EU.

"Let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programs for government and then let the people decide", May said.

May indicated that Conservative candidates will be expected to sign up to her election manifesto in full, putting pressure on remaining Europhiles within her party to toe the line.

May stated these polls is in the country's "national interest" and will strengthen her hand in the complex Brexit negotiations.

As Home Secretary she was responsible for a tightening of immigration rules, and her tenure as Prime Minister has seen her put immigration control - from both within and outside the European Union - at the heart of her agenda, despite warnings that it could damage efforts to secure trade deals, including one with India.

Labour Party shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said May had made a decision to "cut and run" ahead of Brexit negotiations and predicted an unpleasant campaign under the management of spin-doctor Lynton Crosby, the man behind the dirty campaigning for Zac Goldsmith when he ran against Labour's Sadiq Khan in the London mayoral election.

Euro benefits from weak dollar, sterling close to 6-month high
Aside from concern over North Korea's actions, we are still waiting to see how the market is going to fully react to this move. The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major counterparts, was flat around 100.18.

The House of Commons will vote on Wednesday on whether to approve the dissolution of parliament, which under the UK's fixed-term parliaments will require a two-thirds MPs majority.

With the Labour opposition weakened, May's gamble will probably pay off with an enhanced Conservative majority in Parliament - but it's unlikely to unite a country deeply split over the decision to quit the EU.

However, this could be Labour's worst performance since their 1983 trouncing, says Freedland in the Guardian, adding: "Some have been dusting off the record books to look at 1935, when Labour won just 154 seats".

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is pressing for an independence referendum, said May was making a "huge political miscalculation" that would bolster her Scottish National Party.

"I believe in campaigns where politicians actually get out and about and meet the voters", she said.

The rules about the involvement of the Liberal Democrat and other smaller party leaders usually offers a convenient set of obstacles to hide behind.

While the vote increases uncertainty in the short term, traders think that the expected resounding victory by May's Conservative Party could help the prime minister face down critics - both within her ranks and the opposition - in her Brexit discussions.

Corbyn said years of Conservative austerity had led to falling living standards and called May "a prime minister who can't be trusted".

But she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We won't be doing television debates".

It would "allow the most wonderful platform for the Prime Minister to lay out her strategy to the electorate", commented Julia Evans, chief executive of the research consultancy BSRIA.


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