23rd Jul, 2017

Voters preparing to head back to the polls

Sarah Mason 20th Apr, 2017

VOTERS could be heading to the polls for a general election in June after Theresa May announced plans to call a ‘snap’ general election.

But the Prime Minister needs Parliament’s backing to hold a vote before 2020 and MPs were voting as The Observer went to press on holding an election on June 8.

The next general election had been expected in 2020, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act allows for one to be held earlier if two-thirds of MPs back the move.

Meriden MP Dame Caroline Spelman and Solihull MP Julian Knight have welcomed the proposed early election.

Dame Spelman said: “I have a huge amount of respect for the Prime Minister,

“This is the right ting to do and is in the national interest which will create a clear course which she can negotiate with.

“Theresa May has said that she wanted another general election to have the chance to bring people closer together and make sure that Britain works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

“In my 20 years as an MP I have helped out with 20,000 individual cases, that’s roughly 1,000 problems and battles a year I have been able to intervene in and make a difference in people’s lives – that is what you need in a local MP that is the heart of what I do and it is most satisfying part of the job.”

Solihull was one of the key battle grounds in the 2015 General Election as the Conservatives wrestled the borough back from

Liberal Democrat Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull following her ten-year reign.

Speaking after Mrs May’s announcement Mr Knight said: “Theresa May is right to seek an election.

“Although she was wary about another election so soon after the referendum, it’s clear that the country needs a strong Conservative Government to sustain our strong economy and deliver the Brexit deal Britain deserves.

“It’s been a privilege to serve Solihull residents in Parliament over the last two years.

“As an MP I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful members of our community, and I’m proud that I and my team have been able to help so many residents in need.

“In 2015 I promised to work hard to make Solihull an even better place to live, and I’m determined to keep that promise.”

But the Prime Minister has come under fire from some after promising there would be no general election before 2020.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Here’s further proof no-one should trust a word the Prime Minister says.

“This is something people should bear in mind every time she makes a promise during the coming election campaign.

“At a time of unprecedented national and international uncertainty, the Conservatives have thrown the country into a snap election, but now at least people can have their say about the future of the country.

“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, this election must be about the future of our public services and the spending cuts unleashed over the past seven years.

“The government cannot and must not be given a renewed mandate for further funding squeezes and ending cherished rights at work.”