So now we know. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is not a woman of her word.
After repeated denials that there would be an early General Election, the temptation to cut and run became just too great.
It is being heralded as a stroke of genius but the short term advantage she has won will be outweighed by the long term damage.
She has tried to build a reputation as an honest and straightforward politician who put the interests of the country above her party. That has been trashed overnight and will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get back.
The EU’s Brexit negotiators will have taken note.
The lesson they will have learned is that Theresa May doesn't have any absolute “red lines”. Just because she is adamant about something now doesn't mean she won't change her mind in future.
They will take a tougher negotiating stance against Britain and will make it much harder for us to get a better deal.
It is inevitable that Brexit will loom large in the coming weeks, but we shouldn't forget that a General Election is not a referendum on a single issue but about how the country will be governed in future.
There very much needs to be this wider debate on the current Government’s record.
Living standards are falling as wages fail to keep up with inflation. More and more people are stuck on low paid, zero hours jobs and bogus self-employment contracts.
A failure to build new houses has put the dream of owning your own home out of reach for many young people.
The NHS is falling apart and our social care system is on the verge of collapse.
All schools in Ipswich are facing big cuts to their budgets under the Government’s “Fair Funding” formula.
Police are desperately short-staffed and I have never known frontline officers so demoralised.
Services are being cut while multi-national corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax.
This terrible record of Tory failure needs to be front and centre of the General Election campaign.