Region’s politicians weigh in as general election voted through Westminster

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly - Credit: Archant

The general election will be held on June 8, after MPs voted to support Theresa May’s motion earlier today.

In total, 522 MPs decided to carry the motion while just 13 MPs voted against.

The Prime Minister made the announcement yesterday, much to the surprise of her colleagues in Westminster.

MP for Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly said: “I think the Prime Minister has pulled a blinder. It was totally unexpected, but what you’ve got to realise is that she came in as Prime Minister without a general election mandate and a small majority so you can look at it and say she’s taking advantage of a weak opposition.

“However, it’s much more complicated than that. What she is doing is asserting her own programme.

“The last Conservative manifesto says we should stay in the EU. It’s likely in the 20 bills coming up that about three quarters will be Brexit-related, so you can understand she wants to have a mandate and a larger majority. I think it makes absolute sense.”

He added: “I think it’s tactically very smart because we have a weak opposition and strategically it’s the right and honest thing to do.”

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MP for North West Cambridgeshire, Shailesh Vara also welcomed Mrs May’s decision.

He said: “The people of Britain spoke very clearly at the referendum about our membership in the EU and it’s important the Prime Minister has a proper majority in the Commons to push through the will of the public.

“What we have seen in the past few months from the opposition is a desire to be obstructive rather than work together for the greater good of the nation.

“If we succeed in getting a bigger majority then Mrs May will have the majority in Parliament that she needs to secure the best possible deal for Britain.”

Local Labour Member of the European Parliament Alex Mayer, however, has welcomed the announcement of an early general election as the perfect opportunity to take the fight to the Conservatives.

Ms Mayer said: “The Prime Minister is playing with fire holding an early general election this June; people in this country have had enough with the Tory agenda of brutal cuts to public services and in the coming weeks Labour will be putting forward our better vision for the future of this country including saying no to her hard Brexit plan that risks people’s jobs.

“I’m sick and tired of Tory leaders putting party before country. I look forward to spreading Labour’s positive message on the doorstep.”

She added that Labour would be offering a strong, credible, real alternative to the Conservative Government.

In her announcement speech, Mrs May said she had “only recently and reluctantly” come to her decision.

She said: “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.”