Boris Johnson has condemned a military coup in Myanmar.
The Prime Minister criticised the "unlawful imprisonment of civilians" after its leader Aung San Suu Kyi was reportedly detained.
An announcement on military-controlled Myawaddy TV on the morning the country’s new parliament session was to begin, said there will instead be a new election at the end of a one-year state of emergency.
Mr Johnson tweeted: "I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar.
"The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released."
Reports say Ms Suu Kyi was detained under house arrest, as communications were cut to the capital Naypyitaw.
Ms Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has urged the people of Myanmar to oppose the coup, saying the military’s actions were unjustified and went against the constitution and the will of voters.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: "The UK condemns the state of emergency in Myanmar and the unlawful detention of figures in the Civilian Government and civil society by the military.
"The democratically expressed wishes of the people of Myanmar must be respected, and the National Assembly peacefully re-convened."
Reports suggest many of the country’s senior politicians have also been detained.
Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her peaceful struggle against Myanmar’s military regime and was freed from detention in 2010 after spending long periods of the past two decades under house arrest.
In 2015, the NLD won a sweeping victory in general elections, the first to be held openly since 1990, before taking an outright majority in parliament in 2020.
In defence of its recent coup, the Myanmar military cited the government’s failure to act against its claims of voter fraud, which had been rejected by the election commission, and refusal to postpone the November elections because of the coronavirus crisis.
Cover image: Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Picture: PA).