Harrogate and Knaresborough political leaders respond to snap General Election announcement

News that the Prime Minister is to put a vote to the House of Commons calling for an election on 8 June has been welcomed by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones.

The vote which will be before the Commons tomorrow (19 April 2017) and under the Fixed Term Parliament Acts requires a two-thirds majority of MPs to support it for Parliament to be dissolved.  The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has already said he will back the proposal.


Andrew Jones MP
Andrew Jones MP


Mr Jones commented: The past year has seen momentous changes in politics.  It has been a time of great uncertainty.  It is time for that uncertainty to end – the best way to do that is to secure a Parliamentary majority in an election where all parties can put their case to the electorate and the electorate can decide the future direction of our country.

Locally, I confirm that I will be standing as the Conservative Party candidate.  I love the area in which I live.  I enjoy taking up campaigns on behalf of local people and dealing with issues on behalf of constituents.  I hope that residents feel I have given a level of service to them that is worthy of their support.

Between now and 8 June I will be putting that record in front of constituents and asking them to back me once again.


Chair of Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour Party, Kevin McNerney, said: There will be no clearer sign of what Brexit means after this election. There will still be 2 years of negotiation after 8th June. It’s an attempt to ring the neck of the Labour Party while the polls favour her.

May has ratted on the promise of no Election before 2020. She has flipped flopped from Remain to Hard Brexit. Power for Power’s sake. An empty suit with no vision.

Labour will fight for policies that benefit the many.


Chair of Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrates, Pat Marsh, said: Whilst I do welcome a General Election at a time when Liberal Democrat support across the Country is increasing and by-election results for us have been highly successful, 30+ gains in the last year, however, I still have to ask why, why now.

Theresa May has made a huge ‘U’ turn in declaring this election, denying she would call a snap election only weeks ago, so what has changed her mind. She seems to be saying that she is finding it difficult to get the appropriate legislation through for Brexit, yet her timetable has not slipped.

Uncertainty does not go away by holding a snap election the uncertainty will continue until the negotiations on Brexit have been signed off, if the election is not conclusive what then?

Could this to do with opinion poll ratings and if it is it would appear to me that this snap election could be more about what is best for the Conservative Party rather than what is best for the Country.

Locally we welcome the opportunity to increase our seats on the County Council on May 4th and to return a Liberal Democrat MP on May 8th.


Andrew Dennis, Harrogate & Knaresborough Vote Leave
Andrew Dennis, Harrogate & Knaresborough UKIP

UKIP Harrogate & Knaresborough branch chairman Andrew Dennis said: Locally, UKIP will be fighting this forthcoming election with the same passion as we have done in previous years.

In last year’s referendum the country voted to leave the EU and it is essential we don’t deviate from this path.

UKIP will ensure that the process of leaving the EU gives the outcome the referendum demands.

UKIP also believes in putting our citizens first and cannot understand why the UK government is giving £750,000 in aid to North Korea who are currently testing nuclear missiles, and yet we have families so desperate to feed their children they have to turn to food banks.

We need a Government that supports our people first, but continues our tradition of providing humanitarian aid when needed.


Shan Oakes, press officer for Harrogate and District Green Party said: The Green Party welcomes  democratic debate, but, until we have proportional representation, we all know that elections in this country are unrepresentative.  The timing of this announcement smacks of pure opportunism.

The Prime Minister has been consistently rejecting calls to go to the country, and, had she been taking a responsible approach, could have combined a general election with local government elections in a few weeks, saving millions.  This decision has therefore been taken not in the Country’s interest, but in the cynical hope that she will gain a mandate for an even more  vicious swing to the Right in a domestic as well as a Brexit context.
Green Party candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Greig Sharman,  says,

We will do all we can to ensure that this Tory attempt at a coup will be frustrated by the clear voice of the people in unseating Conservatives nationwide, including in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

We hope voters will recall the tragedies to personal lives due to the Tories’ wrongheaded and unnecessary Austerity, the Tory bonfire of environmental, workers’ & consumer protection,  Tory attempts to destroy and sell off our education system and the NHS;  an overcrowded and inefficient rail system, the  dash for gas through fracking  with police violence and disrespect for democracy (Lancashire County Council’s  refusal  to allow fracking being overridden by government) – the list goes on and on …


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