‘I HAVE just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8th June,’ Tory PM May announced yesterday.
She added: ‘…We need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.
‘I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became prime minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.
‘And so tomorrow I will move a motion in the House of Commons calling for a general election to be held on 8th June. That motion, as set out by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, will require a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons.’
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have welcomed May’s call for a snap election meaning that the two-thirds majority required in the vote in parliament today is secured. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in statement: ‘I welcome the prime minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first. Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.’
In an interview yesterday Corbyn added: ‘We are going out there to put the case of how this country could be run, how it could be different, how we could have a much fairer society that works for all, for everybody in our community. That is the case that we are putting and I am looking forward to doing it.
‘We are putting the case out there to deal with the housing crisis, to deal with the education funding crisis, to deal with the National Health Service, but above all about an economy that works for all by investment, by investment in our infrastructure, investment in our manufacturing industry to give real hope and real opportunities for everybody in this country. We are challenging the economic narrative which says that there has to be huge cuts in public expenditure in order to pay for the banking crisis of 2008.’
Unions stressed the importance of health and education as burning issues in the upcoming election. Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, called on politicians of all parties not to duck the crisis in the NHS any longer.
Porter said: ‘Health is always one of the most important issues for the people of this country and with the NHS at breaking point, having been put through one of the worst winters on record, it must be a central issue in the upcoming election.’
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: ‘This country must have a government that will invest in education. In the general election, we will press all parties to give commitments that, if elected, they will invest and not cut education. At the moment, Theresa May’s government has taken decisions which mean 99% of schools are going to lose funding.’
The Workers Revolutionary Party will be standing a number of candidates in the June election in London and around the country. Vote WRP! Kick the Tories out!