She said she would introduce legislation on Wednesday to pave the way for the early election.
Britain formally triggered the process for leaving the European Union last month, but more turmoil is in store as the country negotiates a divorce that will affect every aspect of life in the United Kingdom.
It is unusual for leaders to make a statement outside Number 10 Downing Street and most prime ministers only use the setting for major announcements.
"What we are doing is not voting for a new prime minister for just two years over Brexit, but for a new prime minister for a duration of a parliament of five years", he told the Commons.
In reaction to the proposed 8 June ballot, the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator has said the election is a chance for Britons to show what EU relationship they want.
May came to power last July in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union, which led to Cameron's resignation.
Here are four examples of elections called by the government less than four years into their term.
Ladbrokes meanwhile say it is 1 to 5 on that Mr Corbyn will be replaced as leader of the Labour party this year.
An early election "is in our view a game-changer for both the U.K.'s Brexit negotiations and sterling", Saravelos wrote.
The vote is viewed as an attempt by May to secure a new mandate in Brexit negotiations.
"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", he said in a statement.
Taking a swipe at Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron for frustrating the will of the British people, the Prime Minister called on the opposition to vote through the proposal to have a general election on June 8 2017.
One can only speculate to what extent May contemplated her move - which seeks a political fresh start after months of wrangling over Brexit - while attending St. Andrew's church at Sonning, where she still occupies a pew most Sundays.
Corbyn said he would not oppose the call for an election.
"However, she has chosen to put party advantage before the good of the country".
Andrew Wilson, the senior investment director at wealth management firm Brooks Macdonald's York office, said he expected the election to weigh on investor sentiment in the near term.
May explained her change of heart by saying: "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election".
Is a General Election an absolute certainty? The other way an early election can happen is if the House of Commons decides it has no confidence in the Government, but that is highly unlikely.
But May said Tuesday she had "reluctantly" changed her mind.
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