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Early General Election called — Isle of Wight to elect MP on June 8

Islanders will go to the polls on June 8 to choose an Isle of Wight MP.

Islanders will go to the polls on June 8 to choose an Isle of Wight MP.

Ross Findon

ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 16:16

UPDATED 16:16*
THE Isle of Wight will go to the polls to choose an MP on June 8 after Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election this morning (Tuesday).
The next General Election was not due to be held until 2020, but despite previously ruling out an early election, Theresa May said she had now changed her mind.
"I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election," said Mrs May, in a press conference outside 10 Downing Street.
The announcement means the election will take place just a month after the Isle of Wight Council elections.
It also means the General Election will happen before boundary changes that will lead to the Isle of Wight being represented by two MPs.
In 2015, Conservative Andrew Turner was re-elected as Isle of Wight MP with a majority of 13,703 ahead of nearest rival Iain Mckie, of UKIP. Mr Mckie has since left UKIP.
The decision to hold an election must be finalised by parliament, however the move has already been backed by the Labour leadership.
*Vix Lowthion, already selected Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party on the Isle of Wight, said: "A good deal has changed politically since I last stood for election as your MP in 2015, coming third behind UKIP and the Conservatives.
"The time is right to go back to the people - and change our government. Change our country's direction. It is time to give a strong voice for the Isle of Wight.
"The Isle of Wight Green Party will win our first seats on the Council in May. And in June we could have only the second Green MP in the country. We can build a future to be proud of!
"I urge islanders to get behind our Parliamentary campaign and support us in any way you can."
The news of an early General Election was welcomed by Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats.
Chairman Nicholas Belfitt said: "We welcome the chance to put forward a real alternative to people who feel worried and upset about the course of this government.
"As Liberal Democrats, we will fight this election with the position of putting a real alternative forward. We will fight to turn our country away from a Tory-led Hard Brexit and fight to keep our positive economic position in the single market and customs union which many Island businesses depends on.
"We will fight for close relations with the EU and giving people a true vote on the Brexit negotiation deal."
The party has yet to select its candidate.
UKIP is also yet to reveal its candidate.
UKIP Isle of Wight Councillor Daryll Pitcher said: "My immediate thoughts are ones of surprise, I don't believe the polls and I think it will be closer than people realise, and of optimism.
"Between the newly Brexit supporting PM and a newly resurgent UKIP the margin for Leave voters at this election should be much greater than the referendum result. It will also give my party a chance to regain representation in Westminster, hopefully here on the Isle of Wight."
Isle of Wight Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, a former Conservative but now an independent, has revealed her intention to stand in the General Election.
In a statement issued at lunchtime, Mr Turner confirmed he intended to fight for re-election and said: "I was in a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee from 9am, so myself and colleagues on the Committee knew nothing of the speculation going on outside about the announcement just after 11am.
"I am as surprised as anybody by this - but can understand the reasoning behind the decision.
"Most people in the country, whether they supported it or not, have rallied behind the decision made on 23rd June last year that we should leave the European Union.
"Sadly many MPs have not and there has been increasing unrest in the commons.
"As is well known, I have always supported Brexit, along with 62% of Islanders.
"I go out knocking on doors every Saturday, and have increasingly found people saying we should now just get on with it - even if they voted Remain in the referendum.
"So although it is a pity it is necessary, I support the Prime Minister's decision to call an election and look forward to working to win on the Island. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who have already been in touch expressing their support.
"In the meantime it is business as usual, and I have been lucky in the ballot to ask a topical question during Treasury Question Time this afternoon."
* Isle of Wight Labour secretary, Ed Gouge, said the party's NEC was meeting tomorrow to decide the candidate selection process.
He added: “A general election gives an opportunity to debate what is happening to the NHS, school funding and the failure of local Conservatives to get from the Government the financial support that the Island needs.
"There has been economic growth but none if it has gone into wage increases for much of the population or key public services. After seven years this economic experiment has left the country worse off.
“We will be making a strong case for a fairer more compassionate and sustainable society where strong communities and the needs of the many are put before the needs of the privileged few.
"Here on the Island we are the largest political party and have been running a strong local election campaign. We need a Labour MP and not another Conservative who won’t stand up for the Island. The Government has been trying to close down the debate on the terms of Brexit but a general election gives us a chance to argue that too.”

 


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