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My statement on the Prime Minister’s Announcement she wants to hold a snap General Election

April 18, 2017 8:46 PM

I look forward to standing in Leeds North West for the fourth consecutive time and will be asking local people to put their trust in me once again, to carry on being a strong voice for our area, to campaign for positive change and to hold this divisive Government to account.

After months of telling the British people there would be no snap election, Theresa May has now done a complete U-turn and has announced she wants to have one! Having told people she wanted stability and wanted to unite the country, she is instead acting cynically in the interests of the Conservative Party, not the country. Having said at least seven times that she wouldn't seek a snap election, people will now from on find it hard to trust anything Theresa May says.

This snap election does though give the British people the chance to send a clear message to the Prime Minister and more and more people are looking for a strong opposition to this divisive Government, its failure to properly support the NHS and schools and its obsession with a damaging and divisive hard Brexit. With the Labour party divided and fighting internal battles, more and more people are turning to the Liberal Democrats and we are showing in Parliament and in the country that we are becoming that real opposition.

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act removed the direct ability of the Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament and trigger a general election, but allowed for an early election to be held if a motion is backed by at least two-thirds of the whole House of Commons i.e. 434 Members out of 650, or without division. This motion is being put to the House of Commons tomorrow and it is clear that it will be passed, so the election is going to happen on Thursday 8th June. I am ready for the fight and so are the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats have been winning by-elections up and down the country and now are ready to fight a general election and give the British people the chance to change the course of direction of this Government and the country. This Conservative Government have made it clear that they will pursue the hardest of hard Brexits pulling us not just out of the EU but also the common market, the European Arrest Warrant that ensures that those suspected of crimes in another European country cannot simply evade justice by fleeing, and the European Food Safety Authority which maintains high standards for the food in our supermarkets. These things were not on the ballot paper in June last year and will be damaging to our economy, to British businesses and jobs and to our standing in the world. August 2015, blank

I and we will also campaign against this Government's other failings though; the way it is slashing the budgets of existing schools in order to pursue its ideologically driven push for an outdated system of grammar schools. Or, the fact that the Government kicked the crisis of care for older people into the long grass and is failing to give the NHS the money it needs. The fact that the Government has refused to accept a court's judgement that protected the rights of claimants with psychological health issues. This is some of the legacy that this Government will take in to this election and with the promise to divide the country even further.

Labour are too divided to provide genuine opposition, so that must and will come from the Liberal Democrats. It is the Liberal Democrats who are holding the Conservative Government to account and it is the Liberal Democrats that are fighting for a fairer Britain, a more united Britain and an open and tolerant Britain that we need to go forward nationally and internationally.

I want to carry on being a champion for Leeds North West, a campaigner for change and also to be part of a real opposition in Westminster. Together we can send a clear message that the Government needs to listen and bring the country together, not divide it.

Greg Mulholland MP

MP for Leeds North West