We’re going to the polls (again)

By Mark Elson in Local People

PRIME Minister Theresa May announced, in a surprise statement on Tuesday (April 18), that a General Election will be held on Thursday, June 8.

The decision comes despite the fact that, as Home Secretary and as Prime Minister, Ms May ruled out a snap election before 2020 a number of times.

Forest Conservative MP, Mark Harper, who took the seat from Labour in 2005 and won by a 10,987 majority two years ago, backing the Remain campaign in the June 2016 referendum, said: “I support the Prime Minister’s decision to call for an early General Election. A strong mandate in an early election will strengthen our country’s position in our upcoming negotiations with the EU.”

Monmouth Conservative MP, David Davies, who backed Brexit, said: “This is obviously sooner than I expected, but the government has a big programme that it is determined to push through with Brexit, and you need a strong government to do that. With such a small majority for the Conservatives, the Prime Minister is right to call a General Election.”

Jessica Morden, Labour MP for Newport East, was first elected in 2005, and increased her majority two years ago to 4,705, supporting the Remain campaign.

She said: “Theresa May is again playing political games instead of dedicating time and resources to the vitally important Brexit negotiations. Now, more than ever before, we have to take on this Tory government to fight for fairness and a better deal for everyone in Newport East.

Tim Gwilliam, (Berry Hill, Forest of Dean Independent Labour) has announced that he will be standing as an independent candidate in the forthcoming General Election, saying: “I think its very clear that the Tory government and our own MP Mark Harper need to accept responsibility for the damage that the outlandish austerity measures and cuts to the welfare system are doing to communities, education and infrastructure.”

•County elections are happening across the UK on Thursday, May 4. A Forest of Dean District Council spokesperson said: “If you are going to be away on May 4 or there is another reason why you won’t be able to make it to a polling station, the deadline to apply for a proxy vote ­ to appoint person you trust to vote on your behalf – is 5pm on April 25. Contact the local election team on 01594 812692.”

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