General Election 2017: Starmer says snap poll is result of Theresa May's failures

Theresa May has called a general election for June 8

Tuesday, 18th April 2017 — By Richard Osley


Tulip Siddiq and Keir Starmer on the night they became Camden’s new MPs in May 2015 

HOLBORN and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer said today (Tuesday) that the Prime Minister had called a snap general election due to her own failures.

He said that the country lay divided after the Brexit vote last June and that Mrs May had failed to bring the country together. A general election will now be held on June 8, the second time the country has gone to the polls in two years.

“Britain is now more divided than it was on June 23rd [2016] or at any time in my lifetime,” said Mr Starmer, who was elected as an MP for the first time two years ago. “That represents a complete failure by Theresa May to bring the country together behind a bold and confident future for Britain outside the EU. Every step of the way Labour has sought to put the national interest first and to build a national consensus around our future relationship with the EU – not as members, but as partners.”


Mr Starmer added: “That is why Labour did not frustrate the Article 50 process in Parliament. It is why Labour has set six tests for the final Brexit deal that would deliver the best possible deal for everyone in Britain, whether they voted remain or leave. This General Election is a result of the Prime Minister’s failure to build a national consensus. It is also an opportunity for Labour to set out an inclusive, progressive and ambitious future for Britain.”

Mr Starmer won his seat at the House of Commons with a majority of 17,048, having been selected by local members to stand once the long-serving Frank Dobson retired.

Mrs May said this morning that the Brexit debate had forced her to change her mind about calling a quick election – something she had pledged not to do after entering Downing Street last year.

“At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not,” she said. “In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”

She added: “Our opponents believe that because the Government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong. They under-estimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.”

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