Theresa May was urged to call the general election by Jean-Claude Juncker, it has been reported.
The President of the European Commission apparently advised Ms May to call the election saying her 17-seat majority would not be enough during Brexit negotiations.
Mr Juncker allegedly said having a larger majority would help Ms May during “pinch points”, such as determining the UK’s divorce bill.
“During bilaterals, in the margins of summits, Juncker repeatedly told her he thought she should do it,” an EU source told The Observer.
“People don’t understand. We want a deal more than anyone. We are professionals, we have a mandate to get a deal and we want to be successful in that,” a second diplomat added.
Mr Juncker came to visit Ms May in May and their relationship was strained after a series of leaks to the German press.
It was reported that EU officials and Mr Juncker were surprised that Ms May did not appear to be fully briefed for the meeting and thought she had unrealistic expectations about the length and process of negotiations.
There were also claims that Mr Juncker called German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said Ms May “lived in another galaxy” and was “deluding herself”.
The leak led Ms May to accuse EU leaders of trying to directly influence the result of the UK general election.
She also dismissed the leak as “Brussels gossip”.