Theresa May has called for a snap general election.
The election is expected to be held on June 8th, if parliament approves a bill to allow the election.
The incumbent Prime Minister had said she did not intend to hold an election before 2020, but now says Westminster has failed to be “united”.
Mrs May answered critics, saying she had come to the conclusion “recently and reluctantly”.
She is now “seeking support” as she holds a motion in the House of Commons to call the election for June.
Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, she must get a two thirds majority of MPs in order for an election to happen.
She claimed other parties had tried to stop her “getting the job done” and that she wanted a larger governing majority to “remove the risk of uncertainty and instability”.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said he will back the motion for an election, saying in a statement: “If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit.
“If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
“Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is yet to comment.
Speaking outside Downing Street after officially taking up the position of Prime Minister in July of last year, Mrs May praised her predecessor, David Cameron, for his legacy on issues including same-sex marriage.
She said: “In David Cameron I follow in the footsteps of a great modern prime minister.
“Under David’s leadership the government stabilised the economy, reduced the budget defict and helped more people into work than every before. But David’s true legacy is not about the economy, but about social justice.
“From the introduction of same sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether David Cameron has led a one nation government and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead.”
Theresa May, who served as Home Secretary since the Conservatives took power six years ago until becoming Prime Minister, became party leader after an internal selection among Tory MPs.
Mrs May has a mixed historic record on LGBT rights, first entering politics as a firm opponent of equality in line with her party’s stance.
Under Iain Duncan Smith’s leadership, Mrs May obeyed the Tory whip to vote against many early reforms, including an equal age of consent and same-sex adoptions – even when others including George Osborne and Boris Johnson rebelled.
But within a few years, pro-LGBT voices had become more mainstream within the Conservative Party, and May’s stance was softening. In 2004, under leader Michael Howard, she was absent for votes on gender recognition but voted in favour of civil partnerships for same-sex couples – the first time she had openly backed an LGBT rights measure.
Both her stance and her party’s would continue to shift.
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Ahead of the 2010 election, Mrs May penned the Conservative Party’s ‘Contract for Equalities’, published alongside their manifesto, in which she made the seemingly-innocuous pledge: “We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage.”
The same year, the Home Secretary also took the chance to apologise for her former stance on gay adoption.
Speaking on Question Time, she conceded: “I have changed my view. If those votes were taken today, I would take a different vote.”
Baroness Featherstone, in her book ‘Equal Ever After’, praised the then Home Secretary as an “unsung hero” of the push for marriage.
Mrs May was also key to ensuring that proposals allowed for religious same-sex weddings as well as civil weddings, as the legislation was drafted.
But despite her evolving stance, Mrs May has faced strong criticism on other LGBT issues.
A review of the treatment of LGBT asylum seekers was carried out by the Home Office in 2014, but the Home Secretary has since been criticised by asylum groups, who say that in some ways conditions have worsened under her tenure at the home Office.
Speaking at the launch of her Conservative party leadership bid, she said: “I supported Civil Partnerships in 2004, and was proud to sponsor the legislation that introduced full marriage equality in 2013 because I believe marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.”