Updated: 19/04/17 : 06:13:31
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Taoiseach and PM speak as UK snap election called

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to the British Prime Minister yesterday evening following her call for a snap election.

Both reiterated their commitments regarding Brexit and Ireland including that there be no return to a hard border and to maintain the Common Travel Area.

The Taoiseach also emphasised to Theresa May that a return to direct rule in Northern Ireland should not be contemplated.

The conversation lasted 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he is concerned that the snap general election will hit Stormont powersharing talks.

Charlie Flanagan said he raised the issue in a phone call with Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire following the shock announcement that the UK would go to the polls on June 8.

Mr Flanagan said political parties will switch from negotiating to campaign mode.

Theresa May had repeatedly denied that she would call an election before the next scheduled poll in 2020.

But she said "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit" and was a primary reason for the snap election call.

Explaining her change of heart on an early election, Mrs May said: "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead is to hold this election."

She concluded by saying it was "with reluctance" that she reached her decision but added: "It is with strong conviction that I believe it is necessary to secure a strong and stable leadership this country needs."