Theresa May has revealed she made the decision to seek an early general election while on a walking holiday in Wales with her husband last week.
The prime minister surprised Westminster on Tuesday morning by announcing she would ask parliament to allow her to go to the country on June 8.
In an interview with ITV News, May denied her decision to u-turn on her previous pledge not to hold a snap election was a cynical move to exploit the Tory poll lead over Labour.
May said the election would “strengthen the hand of he government in our negotiations to make Brexit a success”.
“Before Easter I spent a few days walking in Wales with my husband. I thought about this long and hard and came to the decision that to provide that stability and certainty for the future that this was the way to do it - to have an election,” she said.
“The British people gave the government a job to do in terms of coming out of the EU. And I am going to be asking the British people to put their trust in me in ensuring we deliver a success in that.”
Downing Street has repeatedly dismissed the suggestion May would not wait until the 2020 election to seek her own mandate. Less than a month ago a spokesperson for the prime minister said an early election was “not going to happen”.