Opposition parties have called for a general election with Theresa May set to become Prime Minister unopposed.
The Tory leadership contest was cut short on Monday after Ms May’s internal rival Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race.
Labour’s election coordinator Jon Trickett said it was crucial for the country to have a “democratically elected Prime Minister” and branded Ms May’s election a “coronation”.
“It now looks likely that we are about to have the coronation of a new Conservative Prime Minister,” he said.
“It is crucial, given the instability caused by the Brexit vote, that the country has a democratically elected Prime Minister. I am now putting the whole of the party on a General Election footing.
“It is time for the Labour Party to unite and ensure the millions of people in the country left behind by the Tories' failed economic policies, have the opportunity to elect a Labour government.”
During the leadership contest Ms May ruled out an early general election, saying that not holding one would create stability during Brexit negotiations.
She will now become Prime Minister in the coming days following official confirmation from the Conservative party board.
Theresa May in quotes
Theresa May in quotes
1/10 On being described by the former chancellor Ken Clarke as “a bloody difficult woman”:
“Politics could do with some Bloody Difficult Women actually”
2/10 On keeping secrets even from her husband:
“There are some things I am told that I am not able to confide in anybody”
3/10 On the relentless focus on her appearance during a speech at the Women in the World summit:
"I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes”
4/10 On comparisons to Margaret Thatcher:
“I think there can only ever be one Margaret Thatcher. I’m not someone who naturally looks to role models. I’ve always, whatever job it is I’m doing at the time, given it my best shot. I put my all into it, and try to do the best job I can”
5/10 On her rebelliousness, or lack of, as a teenager:
“I probably was Goody Two Shoes at school”
6/10 On being replaced as chairman by Lord Saatchi and Liam Fox in 2003:
“Yes, it takes two men to step into the shoes of one woman”
7/10 What Theresa May said when she was asked about her political ambitions during an interview with Miriam González Durántez, a lawyer married to Nick Clegg, in December:
MD: "My very last question is: that little girl who is somewhere there, is she dreaming of becoming the next British Prime Minister?" TM: "She’s dreaming of carrying on doing a good job in the Home Office"
8/10 On not being able to have children:
“I like to keep my personal life personal. We couldn’t have children, we dealt with it and moved on. I hope nobody would think that mattered; I can still empathise, understand people and care about fairness and opportunity”
9/10 On whether she can deliver the mandate of the EU referendum:
“I think for party members and indeed for others, I would say look at my record. I think they can see that I’m somebody who gets on with the job, but I’m also somebody who says it as I see it and actually delivers on what I say”
10/10 On the equally relentless obsession with her shoes:
“As a woman I know you can be very serious about something and very soberly dressed add a little bit of interest with footwear. I always tell women ‘you have to be yourself, don’t assume you have to fit into a stereotype’ and if your personality is shown through your clothes or shoes, so be it”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron however said the Tories had “no mandate” following the
“With Theresa May’s coronation we need an early General Election,” he said.
“The Tories now have no mandate. Britain deserves better than this.”
The calls were echoed by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, who is standing to lead her party.
“Andrea Leadsom’s decision to pull out of the leadership race underlines the necessity of a General Election this year, something the Greens have called for since the EU referendum result was announced,” she said.
The Independent reported earlier this month that Ukip leader Nigel Farage had called for a snap election to be called following the Brexit vote.
He urged the use of a proportional voting system so that smaller parties would receive fair representation.
Ms May may still be tempted to hold an early general election because of the Tories’ slim majority and the current disarray in Labour.
Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act the Conservatives would have to vote “no confidence” in her leadership and wait for 14 days, voting down any alternative attempt at forming a government.