UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for an early general election has put the country in a “dangerous” situation, says former prime minister Tony Blair, asking voters to avoid handing ruling Tories the absolute majority.
Lawmakers in the UK Parliament’s House of Commons voted 522 to 13 on Wednesday in favor of a motion put forward by May for “snap” elections, with the goal of gaining a stronger mandate for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The election will be held on June 8, nearly a year after 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the bloc. The current Parliament will dissolve on June 3.
Blair, who won three general elections as the former leader of Labour Party, said in statement on Wednesday that May wanted to force the final EU deal upon the people regardless of how good or bad it might be and that she would seek to suppress any opposition through a landslide victory in the upcoming vote.
“The political situation the country faces is unprecedented and dangerous. We risk a Parliament which is lop-sided in its make-up; which has a big Tory majority,” he argued.
Blaming the Tory dominance on Labour’s performance under Jeremy Corbyn, he said the Tories were set to win an even bigger majority “when we desperately need representatives who will at least keep an open mind.”
“This requires the electorate in every constituency to know where the candidates stand; and the mobilization of the thousands in each constituency to make it clear that for them this issue counts when it comes to their vote,” he added.
“The damage to the country will be huge if we end up with an unrestrained ‘Brexit At Any Cost’ majority,” he added, calling for the election of “Parliamentary representatives who will put the national interest before party interest.”
The latest polls predict an easy win for May. The premier has already backed out from televised debates, drawing fire from Corbyn.
Blair’s statement came amid reports that he is preparing to campaign with Liberal Democrats in the build-up to the June 8 vote.
Senior Liberal Democrats have already “confirmed” to The Telegraph that Blair “could” strike an alliance with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and lead a joint campaign against Brexit at the general election.
Farron says his party gives Britons “a chance to change the direction of your country … if you want to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit.”