Jeremy Corbyn welcomes early general election decision

"Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative," the opposition leader says.

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Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed Theresa May's decision to call a snap election - meaning that Labour will vote for the measure in the Commons.

In a statement, the Labour leader 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.”

Read more: How Theresa May can call an early election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

Helen Lewis is associate editor of the New Statesman. She regularly appears on BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and the News Quiz, and is writing a history of feminism for Jonathan Cape