WORCESTER’S MP has admitted the revelation of a proposed snap General Election came as a ‘surprise and a challenge’.
Robin Walker told the Observer he believed Prime Minister Theresa May was right to put forward a plan which could see voters in the city go to the polls for the second time in just over two years.
Mrs May will ask Parliament today (Wednesday) to vote in favour of an early General Election with MPs expected to agree polling day will be on June 8.
In a statement in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said a vote was needed ahead of the negotiations to leave the European Union which are expected to begin later this year.
“We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done,” she said.
“I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions we must take.”
The city’s MP backed the announcement and confirmed he would seek re-election to defend the seat he won in 2010 and defended in 2015 for the Conservative’s with a 5,646 majority.
“With the threat of a second referendum on Scottish independence there is a powerful case to be made for a United Kingdom, a global Britain that looks out to the world with unity and continues to play a leading role in the world,” he said.
“Speaking personally the announcement of a General Election is a surprise and a challenge but it is a challenge I am determined to meet,” he added.
Worcester Labour Party’s campaign co-ordinator Coun Joy Squires criticised the proposed election.
“This General Election is clearly about the what is best for the Conservative Party and not the interests of the country,” she told the Observer.
“We will select a candidate as soon as we can but it’s also very important to continue the campaign for the County Council elections on May 4.”
Coun Squires also said she would not be ‘putting her hat into the ring’ to fight the seat for the party as she did in the 2015 election.
Any poll could see the established parties challenged by Worcester Green Party who finished fourth in the 2015 poll and have gone on to win seats on Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council as well as the resurgent Liberal Democrats
Worcester-based West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver admitted he could be tempted to stand for a Parliamentary seat in any poll.
“I am surprised the Prime Minister has called this election but it is clearly an indication she believes a large proportion of MPs are choosing to ignore the will of the people who voted in last year’s referendum,” he said.