General election 2017: No! 'Larry the cat is not dead'

By Lamia Estatie
BBC News

Image source, Twitter/@FakeNewsGen

Social media users in the UK are reacting to Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise announcement of a snap general election with memes - naturally.

The election was scheduled to be held in 2020 but has now been called for 8 June, pending a parliamentary vote.

Some said Mrs May had "deceived the public" as she previously pledged she would not call for an early general election, while others focused their attention on the announcement's effect on the British pound.

And speculation in the build-up to the announcement was rife online, with one saying the announcement could possibly have been about the death of Larry the cat. No!

A widely shared image quoted Mrs May saying last year that there would be no general election until 2020.

Image source, Twitter/@ThomasPride
Image source, Twitter/@ThatTimWalker

Explaining her decision, Mrs May said that Westminster had become divided following the EU referendum, which could "cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country".

In a tweet, Fake News Generator showed an image of Mrs May with an altered BBC "Breaking News" strapline that reads: "I'm just four toddlers in a trenchcoat."

One user added: "What was the point in running for PM, after Brexit, and call a General Election a few months after. No vote in confidence for Theresa May."

While Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the PM's decision, online bookmaker Paddy Power tweeted: "Jeremy Corbyn is in for a shock when he wakes up in 45 minutes."

Another Twitter user commented: "Labour has no chance of being voted in whilst that clown is Labour leader."

Others focused their attention on finance, with one comparing Family Guy's Peter Griffin falling down the stairs to the "pound reacting to anything Theresa May says".

Image source, Twitter/@fastFT
Image source, Twitter/@ConMend

The surprise announcement has also led to reaction from students and journalists alike. One student in Cambridge shared a meme of an angry Spongebob Squarepants, captioned: "When Theresa May announces a snap election two hours before your Politics mock."

Another tweeted a gif of cats typing away furiously, illustrating "every journalist in the UK right now".

And in the build-up to the announcement, several speculated the many possibilities - some grim and others humorous - of what Mrs May would say.

Image source, Twitter/@Kevin_Maguire
Image source, Twitter/@mrmitchell78

By the UGC and Social News team