City MP Chris Matheson predicts he will remain Chester’s member of parliament after Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for June 8.
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.
No fan of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Matheson resigned as parliamentary private secretary to the shadow justice team after apparently calling for Corbyn’s resignation at a meeting of Labour’s parliamentary party.
He was reported to have told Corbyn: “I’ve done something you’ve never done, and that’s beaten the Tories.”
But today Mr Matheson ducked the Corbyn question and called for his constituents to vote for him.
“I’m the candidate. It’s my name on the ballot paper and I will be the MP for Chester after June 8,” he defiantly told The Chronicle.
He continued: “The Conservatives are making cuts to our teachers, they have taken £57m from the council and siphoned off council tax money to pay for Conservative Party campaigns through the United and Cecil Club. And the NHS is collapsing in Chester despite the best efforts of its staff because it’s underfunded.
“Labour policies are popular and resonate with ordinary people and I will be standing with them and standing proudly to protect services and to create a strong economy that works for all in our city.”
Mr Matheson attacked Mrs May’s u-turn over her decision to hold a general election.
He said: “The Tories agreed to fix the parliaments so it could secure a government with the Liberal Democrats and now at the first chance they get, they are ditching it. They are playing fast and loose with the constitution for party political ends.
“I will fight and win in Chester based on my record of strong and active representation – everything I have delivered and everything I will deliver in the future.”