Jeremy Corbyn responds to Theresa May's decision to call snap General Election

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed Theresa May's decision to call a snap election, saying his party would offer an "effective alternative" to the Tories.

Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister's surprise decision to call an election on June 8, almost three years earlier than the next scheduled ballot, would give the people the chance to vote for a government that will put the "majority first".

The Labour leader indicated that his MPs would support Mrs May's demand for an early election, which will require the backing of two-thirds of all MPs.

He said: "I welcome the Prime Minister's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.

"Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a Government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

"In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain."

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile, a Labour MP who has been a consistently staunch critic of Mr Corbyn revealed he will not stand for re-election in the snap vote.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop criticised the leader last week after Labour lost a Middlesbrough council seat to the Tories on a by-election swing of 8%.