(Updates prices, adds byline)
By Kate Duguid
NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The British pound whipsawed in choppy trade after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday called for a national election, landing about 0.5% lower on the day against the dollar.
Johnson said on Thursday that he was asking parliament to approve a national election to take place on Dec. 12 as part of his efforts to ensure Britain leaves the European Union.
Although uncertainty about Brexit has hurt the pound, the currency has been bolstered in October as the chances of a no-deal exit have been all but eliminated. The pound was last down 0.52% to $1.285. It is up nearly 5% this month. (Reporting by Kate Duguid; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Richard Chang)