UK Prime Minister Theresa May marked the dissolution of the Houses of Parliament by visiting the Queen in Buckingham Palace, London, on Wednesday 3 May.

The law requires that the the Commons and Lords do not stand for 25 working days before a general election, with the snap vote scheduled for 8 June.

The move means all 650 seats in the Commons become vacant and MPs are referred to as candidates since they revert back to being members of public. There will be no new MPs until parliament is returned on 13 June.

May, who travelled to the palace in her armoured silver Jaguar XJL, remains prime minister and her ministers continue to govern the UK. The conversation between the Tory premier and the monarch is expected to remain private.

Members of the Lords, meanwhile, have to suspend their business until parliament returns, with only limited access available for the peers.

The ceremony marks the official start of the general election campaign. The latest ICM poll, of more than 1,900 voters between 28 April and 2 May, gave the Conservatives a 19 point lead over Labour (47% versus 28%). May goes into the election with a working majority of 17.