news

Theresa May announces General Election: Recap

Prime Minister announces UK will vote on June 8

Prime Minister Theresa May(Image: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire)

Signing off

Thank you for following our live blog today.

Keep an eye on the Chronicle’s website for further local reaction to today’s announcement.

There will be plenty of coverage in the run up to the vote in 51 days time.

Madders comments

The Ellesmere Port MP has confirmed he is standing again.

Mr Madders said he would be ‘proud to defend my record of being a hard-working local MP’.

He also criticised Theresa May for ‘putting her own interests ahead of the county’ in calling the election.

The Labour MP said: “Since being elected two years ago, I have been out speaking with local people every single week, taking up the issues that matter to them.

“From standing up for Vauxhall, fighting for rail improvements in Neston or calling on the Government to deliver the investment that our road network and town centres need, I have always put my constituents first.

“On a whole host of local issues, there is much I have been working on that is unfinished business.

“I hope that the people of Ellesmere Port & Neston will give me the opportunity to complete the job.”

Graham Evans


The only one of the four Cheshire West MPs to have been in place longer than 2015, Mr Evans has a majority of less than 1,000.

His constituency includes Frodsham and Helsby as well as parts of Northwich and Runcorn.

The Conservative MP recently defended his claim he would be ‘banging on the Chancellor’s door’ over Mersey Gateway bridge tolls prior to being re-elected in 2015.

Antoinette Sandbach

Antionette Sandbach MP questioned the Prime Minister in the House of Commons

Another MP less than halfway through their first term, Antoinette Sandbach’s Eddisbury constituency takes in parts of Kelsall, Tarporley and Tattenhall as well as parts of Winsford. It also stretches south into Cheshire East.

She has a huge majority in what is a very safe Conservative seat.

Ms Sandbach has been critical of her own party’s stance on school funding and previously branded the HS2 rail project a ‘blight’ on communities.

Justin Madders

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab)

Here’s a further look at our current MPs - starting with Ellesmere Port and Neston’s Justin Madders.

The Labour representative has been in the post since June 2015.

A former CWaC opposition leader, he also stood against George Osborne in Tatton in 2005.

A major recent issue has been dealing with the fallout of the Vauxhall plant sale, the manufacturer is a huge employer within Mr Madders’s constituency.

George Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne at Lion Salt Works(Image: David Sejrup)

George Osborne is yet to confirm whether he still stand again in his Tatton constituency.

The former Chancellor caused controversy when he became the new editor of the London Evening Standard, but chose to stay as an MP.

It is not Mr Osborne’s only side job.

If his plan was to wait until 2020 and then walk away, he needs to rethink.

Would his constituents vote him in again? A majority of almost 20,000 suggests he would not struggle to get re-elected.

What happens next?

The Prime Minister will table a Commons motion on Wednesday calling for an election to be held on Thursday June 8.

Under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, passed under the last coalition government, she needs a two-thirds majority if she wants to go to the country before the scheduled date of the next the election which had been due to take place in May 2020.

With both Labour and the Liberal Democrats saying they will support the motion, the outcome should be a formality.

What comes after that?

There will be a short “wash-up” period to clear up outstanding legislation such as the Finance Bill to enable the funding of government to carry on. Parliament will then be dissolved on Wednesday May 3, 25 working days before polling, marking the start of the official campaign.

And then?

If all goes to plan voters will go to the polling booths on June 8 with the outcome likely to become clear in the early hours of the next morning.

May 'settled on GE in Snowdonia'

The political editor of our sister paper The Daily Mirror, Jack Blanchard, has had this to say.


The Queen was told yesterday

There was one person who knew about Theresa May’s decision in advance.

The Queen was reportedly told yesterday by the PM, over the phone.

Blacon by-election

There is the matter of a Cheshire West and Chester Council by-election in Blacon this Thursday.

It is usually a safe area for Labour, but how much will it reveal about the current strength of the party?

This is what the Labour candidate has tweeted.


Register to vote


Full Matheson story

Chester’s MP is confident he will keep hold of his seat in June.

Read the full story here.

Watch May's full announcement


Poll

Take part in our poll

Go to our website

Jeremy Corbyn statement

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn(Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

The Labour leader has given his reaction.

Corbyn said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.

“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country.

“We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”

What are the Cheshire West majorities?

So Labour’s Chris Matheson had a majority of 93 in Chester in 2015.

But what of our other constituencies?

Labour’s Justin Madders won by 6,275 in Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Conservative Antoinette Sandbach won by 12,974 in Eddisbury.

The Tories and Graham Evans was elected by a majority of 806 in Weaver Vale.

UKIP leader

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has tweeted his reaction to the news.

He said: “Every vote for in this General Election will be a reminder to the PM that the British people want a clean Brexit with restored borders.”


Green Party reaction

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: “Britain is at a crossroads – and today’s announcement means that people are rightly given a say over the direction this country is going to take.

“Only the Green Party offers a bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain.

“At this election we will stand for an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few; a Britain that’s open to the world and the protection of our precious environment.

“We will stand up to the politics of hatred and division that is scarring our communities and give people across the country a chance to vote for a better Britain.”

Chris Matheson standing

MP for Chester Chris Matheson

Local reaction starting to come through.

Chester MP Chris Matheson confirms he wants to stay as the member of parliament representing Chester.

Mr Matheson, who has the most marginal Labour seat in the country with a majority of just 93 votes, hopes his personal popularity will get him though.

“I’m the candidate. It’s my name on the ballot paper,” he told The Chronicle.

Full PM statement

Here is the full text of Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement from Downing Street announcing that a general election is to be held on June 8:
“I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8.
“I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.
“Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that.
“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.
“We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result.”

Lib Dems reaction

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s call for a General Election, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “This election is your chance to change the direction of our country.

“If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.

“Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.”

Needs 2/3 support

When the motion is submitted tomorrow it will trigger a vote among MPs.

The Fixed Term Parliaments act means the PM will need a 2/3 majority of MPs to back her.

Opposition leader Corbyn has repeatedly said Labour would vote for an early election if May moved the vote.

51 days to the election

Theresa May’s announcement gives Labour 51 days to prepare for an election.

And between now and then there’s the local elections to deal with.

The cabinet is now leaving Downing Street - and by leaving, we mean dashing out so nobody can ask them any questions about the early election.

Motion tomorrow

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement to the nation in Downing Street on April 18(Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Here is Mrs May speaking outside 10 Downing Street.

She says she calls the election ‘with great reluctance’.

A motion will be submitted to the House of Commons and voted for by MPs tomorrow.

May statement

The PM is still speaking outside Downing Street.

Mrs May said: “Since I became Prime Minister I have said there would be no early General Election.

“But I have come to the conclusion the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to seek your support for the decisions I must make.”

Good afternoon

Welcome to this live blog.

Prime Minister Theresa May has just announced a General Election for June 8.

Follow all the updates with plenty of local and national reaction.

View full mobile page