An east London MP has spoken of his “total shock” after plans for a snap general election were announced.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May revealed plans for a poll on June 8 as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
Although she will need Parliament’s backing to call an election before 2020, Labour has said its members will vote with the Government on Wednesday, April 19.
Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, initially said he was not sure if he would stand again. However, he later said he expected that he would run again on June 8 depending on the outcome of discussions with his local party and his family.
After last year’s EU referendum, Mr Fitzpatrick criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying he was not the person to lead Labour to victory in another general election.
Speaking after the election was announced on Tuesday, April 18, Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the party and will lead us into the next election.
“He is convinced he will get a good response at the election and obviously the British public will have the opportunity to express its view. Only time will tell.
“Jeremy is the leader of the Labour party and so he has my support.”
He added: “There must be reasons why [Ms May] has decided to call an election early. She will need to convince the country that it’s not just for her own political advantage.”
However, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, said she “welcomes” the election and would be campaigning against Brexit.
She said: “I urge everyone eligible to register to vote, and for as many as possible to get involved in our democracy.
“I hope we have a lively and informed debate about the future of our country and our local communities.
“I will be arguing for fair funding for our schools and NHS, for more social and affordable housing in Tower Hamlets, for jobs and opportunities for young people and for security for our pensioners.
“I will be campaigning for free school lunches for every primary school pupil, for a living wage of £10 an hour by 2020, and for support for carers.
“Most of all, I want to protect local services, jobs and businesses during Brexit.
“I voted to remain in the EU and was against triggering Article 50. We must come together to avoid Theresa May’s hard Brexit, which risks local jobs and our national prosperity.”
Labour MP for Hackney and Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, told the BBC World at One Labour was “ready for this general election now” and said “this is an election to fight and win”.
The Labour MP’s for Greenwich and Woolwich, Matthew Pennycook, and East Ham, Stephen Timms, have yet to respond to The Wharf’s request for comment.
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