NHS 'at risk from Tory polls victory'
Reporter: Iram Ramzan
Date published: 19 April 2017
MP Debbie Abrahams
OLDHAM'S MPs have responded to Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise announcement of a snap general election on June 8.
The Prime Minister said yesterday that her decision was based on Westminster's response to Article 50 being triggered, the mechanism for the UK to leave the European Union.
This is despite Downing Street insisting last month that an early election was "not going to happen".
Mrs May said ministers have a plan for Brexit that will allow the UK to regain control of its laws and borders, which is opposed by the other parties.
The PM was due to move a motion in the Commons today proposing an election on June 8. She needs a vote with a two-thirds majority to trigger an early election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the election and confirmed he would vote for it.
Labour's Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said: "Theresa May has called this general election because she has failed to get the terms she wanted at the start of the Brexit talks and she fears she will be in a worse position at the end of them.
"I welcome the opportunity for a general election. The British people now have the opportunity to challenge this Tory Government that has built on the failures of the previous Tory/Lib Dem coalition.
"It has failed to rebalance the economy for all, neglecting the North West and boroughs like Oldham and Saddleworth.
"Labour has the values and policies to address this unfairness.
"I hope the people of Oldham and Saddleworth will continue to show their faith in me and re-elect me in June."
Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon said: "Despite her protests the Prime Minister couldn't resist calling a snap general election.
"She said she called the election for the benefit of the country, but it's obvious she's only done this for the benefit of her own party.
"The election will be about more than Brexit. A Tory victory would see the running down of our NHS and the destruction of our other public services."
Dr Zahid Chauhan, Oldham West and Royton Labour party chairman, said: "This is the most important general election in Britain for decades.
"If we want social justice, equality, opportunity and decent health care for all, then Labour is the only party to vote for on June 8. Locally, we must re-elect the MPs that have done so much to stand-up for Oldham in the face of the draconian austerity of central government."
Other political parties also expressed their views on the snap election.
Lib Dem 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."
UKIP chief Paul Nuttall said: "We are in the midst of Brexit negotiations so this election will provide a perfect opportunity for the 52 per cent to vote for UKIP, the only party wholeheartedly committed to a clean quick and efficient Brexit."
Caroline Lucas, the Green party's co-leader, 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.
"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."