Resignations, outrage, optimism: MPs react to Theresa May’s call for snap general election
Reactions varied across the political spectrum.
Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop announced he would not be running almost immediately after May’s announcement, citing “significant and irreconcilable differences” with his party’s leadership.
I will not be standing for re-election https://t.co/i9RlO4OTUX— Tom Blenkinsop (@TomBlenkinsop) April 18, 2017
Labour MP predicts "loads" of others will follow Tom Blenkinsop's example and announce they won't stand on June 8th.— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) April 18, 2017
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile appeared to embrace the move, saying it was a chance for the British people to be properly represented.
I welcome the PM’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first pic.twitter.com/9P3X6A2Zpw— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) April 18, 2017
Labour’s David Lammy MP said he would fight to hold his Tottenham constituency.
Jess Phillips MP, also of Labour, blasted May’s decision in light of her previous statements that national interest came before partisan politics.
So much for putting country before party— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) April 18, 2017
Tory MP Andrew Stephenson was one of a number of Conservatives who embraced the decision.
Delighted that Prime Minister @theresa_may has announced her intention to call a General Election for 8th June— Andrew Stephenson MP (@Andrew4Pendle) April 18, 2017
Fellow Tory MP Stephen Crabb said it was an ideal moment for an election.
Sun is shining. Perfect moment for an election. Let's go.— Stephen Crabb (@scrabbmp) April 18, 2017
Former Labour MP George Galloway, who is currently running in the Manchester Gorton by-election, tweeted that the election itself might be under threat because of the new situation.
Seems the Council taking legal advice as to whether #gortonbyelection goes ahead. I will stand on June 8. Will Labour change candidate?— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) April 18, 2017
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also appeared to be spoiling for a fight, in his case on the basis of keeping the UK in the EU single market and avoiding the prospect of a ‘Hard Brexit.'
This is your chance to change the direction of your country pic.twitter.com/wfj4wC7yn3— Tim Farron (@timfarron) April 18, 2017
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon argued that the election was being called to push for more austerity and urged voters to fight along national lines
The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let's stand up for Scotland. #GE17— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 18, 2017
Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry urged people to donate to offset the main parties’ wealthy backers.
The best thing you can do for the Greens right now is give us money. We don't have billionaires, just the best ideas https://t.co/EpXcQEPrX5— Sian Berry (@sianberry) April 18, 2017
We welcome this announcement of an early General Election. Join us to fight for a future to be proud of. https://t.co/N7IGRtbLK6— Green Party (@TheGreenParty) April 18, 2017
In an official statement put out on Twitter, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall called the move “cynical.”
Every vote for @UKIP in this General Election will be a reminder to the PM that the British people want a clean Brexit with restored borders— Paul Nuttall (@paulnuttallukip) April 18, 2017
Prominent UKIP-backer Arron Banks tweeted he would definitely be standing for election.
Former UKIP chief Nigel Farage is yet to respond as he appears to be fishing in the Adriatic.