Theresa May
Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will seek a snap General Election.

The election will be held on June 8.

There will be a Commons vote on the proposed election on Wednesday.

Newark MP Robert Jenrick said the Prime Minister had made the right decision in calling a General Election and that the timing of it couldn’t be better.

“The country is coming together now after the European Referendum. Most people I speak to around Newark now want a strong government to deliver on that referendum outcome,” said Mr Jenrick.

“Theresa May commands huge respect across the party threshold as a serious leader right for the difficulties and challenges ahead.

“Labour, Lib Dems and the SNP can’t get over the referendum result and don’t have a plan to deliver on its outcome. They are trying to frustrate and delay the process.

“The mandate to Parliament is to make Brexit a success.”

"Moving the country forward."

JenrickUse
JenrickUse

Mr Jenrick said the contrast between the two potential Prime Ministers – Mrs May and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn - could not be greater.

“I do not feel that the contrast between the two potential Prime Ministers has been greater at any other time in British political history,” he said.

“Theresa May has already established herself as an excellent Prime Minister capable of moving the country forward whereas Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be leader of the opposition.

“I feel sorry for some of our local Labour MPs – Vernon Coaker, Gloria De Piero, Chris Leslie – who will be knocking on doors asking for people to vote Labour.”

Mr Jenrick said he felt the timing of the General Election was perfectly placed within a small window of opportunity offered by the triggering of Article 50 and the negotiations to secure the best Brexit agreement for the country.

Asked why Theresa May had changed her mind, having previously ruled out the need for a General Election, Mr Jenrick said: “I always thought that there should by a General Election.

“The Government has faced some difficult situations. Behind the strength of character of Theresa May is a very small government majority. That makes it very difficult to get anything through Parliament.

“I think Theresa May has come to the conclusion that it is tough for her to succeed with Brexit and to deliver her far-reaching plans for healthcare, the economy, for schools without a larger majority in Parliament.

“We know from the Gordon Brown era that to not have been elected by the public can be quite damaging. She needs that mandate.”

"Theresa May is out of her depth." - Labour's Dennis Jones

 

Labour Newark town councillor Dennis Jones said: “I take this as a sign that the Conservative Party knows it is in trouble over Brexit.

“The chickens are now coming home to roost. We’ve all heard and seen what’s happening – the problems with the financial institutions leaving London, licences taken away by the European Union and our inability for our industries to compete.

“It is easy to call a snap General Election and to then blame the public for giving you the authority to continue as you are.

“I don’t trust Theresa May to run a party in a brewery. She is out of her depth.”

Mr Jones said Brexit meant jobs were going to be lost.

“If the Brexitiers don’t yet understand what’s happening they should,” he said.

“It isn’t the rich people that are going to lose out, it’s the poor.”

He said Labour would put up the best challenge that it could, both locally and nationally.

He said Jeremy Corbyn had been unfairly treated by the media but said he also hadn’t been helped by many of his MPs either.

“He’s been stabbed in tha back,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s time for the party to unite and warn the country about what’s going to happen.

“The Conservatives are the party of austerity. It’s all they’ve got and it’s all they’re about. They’re running around with their eyes shut.”

 

Liberal Democrats: “We have a fighting fund and will fight for the seat."

The chairman of the Newark branch of the Liberal Democrats, Mr Chris Adams said the branch has a candidate in place due to the possibility of a snap General Election.

Mr Adams said: “We have a fighting fund and will fight for the seat.

“We will campaign on some of our traditional values – a more proportional voting system for our country; speaking up for those who are pro-European, opposing the reintroduction of grammar schools as we do not believe that selection at age 11 helps social mobility at all.

“We oppose fracking and are in favour of investments in childcare and social services.”

Mr Adams said he could not rule out the result being a coalition government.

“We are happy to work with others for the public good,” he said.

“We espouse coalitions and people working together rather than just a change every five years,” he said.

"We will not be hammered down by the EU." - UKIP

Sally Chadd from UKIP, the party’s 2015 General Election candidate for Sherwood, said party branches would hold hustings to select candidates from next week.

“UKIP will continue to stand up for British interests during and after Brexit. We will not be hammered down by the EU,” she said.

“The UKIP view is that Theresa May has called the election at a mere seven weeks’ notice to wrong-foot Labour and take advantage of Jeremy Corbyn’s divided supporters. 

“People may like to remember that UKIP spearheaded the Brexit campaign and won.”

"It's the right decision." - Mark Spencer

Sherwood MP Mr Mark Spencer said Theresa May was seeking her own mandate to negotiate Brexit.

"I wasn't expecting [a General Election to be called] but I do understand why Theresa May has done it," he said.

"It's the right decision - clearly, other political parties have got into the habit of trying to frustrate the process of Brexit and to make that task more difficult and to tie the Prime Minister's hands as she tried to negotiate the best deal for the UK.

"What she is saying to the country is: 'If you back me now, give me my own mandate, I'll go and negotiate on behalf of the UK, get the best deal I possibly can and give strong leadership to the country for the next five years'."

Mr Spencer said he was expecting a close-run contest in Sherwood as he confirmed he would seek re-election.

"I'm a big fan of the Prime Minister, I think she is doing a great job and anything I can do to help and support her in getting re-elected to Parliament for Sherwood, I would be delighted to do, so bring on the fight.

"It's always close-run for Sherwood and we don't expect it to be any different, but I'll be putting myself forward as the Conservative Party candidate and hopefully the good people of Sherwood will see fit to re-elect me."

Asked why Mrs May had changed her mind over calling an early General Election, he said: "It's become increasingly evident that the other political parties are just trying to frustrate that process and play political games over Brexit and I think she is saying to the nation: 'Back me as your champion to go and negotiate with our colleagues in Europe and I will get the best deal I can out of them and to draw a line under this political game-playing over Brexit.'"

East Midlands Chamber of Commerce: "Business doesn’t like elections."

Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said: "As a general rule, business doesn’t like elections because they create instability, and this one appears to be creating uncertainty in already uncertain times.

"It could be damaging to the UK economy at a time when business had appeared to have conquered the initial fears over Brexit and coped with the fall in the value of Sterling resulting from the ‘Leave’ vote.

"Our latest Quarterly Economic Survey has shown that business has been doing better since the EU Referendum than anyone predicted.

"What is really important now is that all parties clearly articulate what they stand for, without any of the bombast or rhetoric of recent ballots, and to show they are considering much more than just Brexit.

"There are a multitude of domestic issues that need to be managed and we would call on all candidates to make clear to business what their plans are for strengthening the economy now, during Brexit negotiations and post-Brexit.