Shropshire's MPs welcome General Election announcement
Shropshire's MPs have welcomed Theresa May's announcement of a snap general election for June 8.
Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski reacted quickly to the news, saying: "I think that we should have come together as a Parliament to fight for the best possible Brexit but because Labour have been playing games I think the Prime Minister feels she needs to go to the country to get a mandate for her vision which she has clearly set out for Brexit.
"She is starting to map out a clear vision of what she hopes to achieve but Labour have opposed that and we have to let the people decide.
"I think she is coming across as a very strong leader and a very principled leader. She is coming across as somebody who is able to negotiate very effectively on behalf of the United Kingdom about this once in a lifetime opportunity.
"She wants to have her own mandate and the mandate of the British people and I am very encouraged by her. I feel the British people will give her that mandate.
"We have been very busy with the local council elections which I am focused on but the local parties will now have to gear up for a general election. I very much plan and hope to stand for Shrewsbury and Atcham again."
Telford MP Lucy Allan said: "'Theresa May has done exactly the right thing for the country in calling an election.
"She needs a strong majority in Parliament and this election will deliver that.
"This election is a vote for Brexit and a vote for Theresa May and her leadership.
"I welcome the news, as a strong majority in Parliament is needed in order to deliver for the country."
Ludlow MP Philip Dunne said: "The Prime Minister has decided to call a General Election on 8th June, to ask the public to back the strong and stable leadership needed to see us through Brexit and beyond.
"As Theresa May made clear this morning, the Government's small majority risks weakening our hand in Brexit negotiations. Parliament must consent, but her reasoning is clear.
"I will be supporting a vote for a General Election when this comes before Parliament tomorrow. If successful, I will be out across South Shropshire, asking voters to place their trust in me, and vote for the strong Conservative government the country needs."
North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson was taken surprise by the news, having been on a plane when the announcement was made.
"I am surprised," he said. "I can only assume that it is down to the three requirements of Brexit, that is to take control of our laws, our money and our borders, and that she wants a stronger majority."
He said he intended to defend his seat, which he has represented since 1987.
Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, said: "The Government needs a bigger majority to lead the country through this challenging Brexit period.
"This is the right thing to do. I hope the country will return a new and strengthened Conservative government."
Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, said he would stand again if selected by his constituency association.
Mr Davies also said that opposition parties' attempts to frustrate the Prime Minister over Brexit had left her with no choice but to call a general election.
He said: "I think one has to be realistic. I think if you are elected for five years you should generally serve five years, but there is no doubt at all that the language of the opposition parties in parliament is that they do not want to accept the referendum result.
"They are all wanting to completely frustrate the process and that means all we will end up with is a poor deal when we leave the EU and I think the Prime Minister has realised that."
The election will be fought under the present constituency boundaries. A series of new constituency boundaries, which were revealed by the Electoral Commission last year, are still subject to consultation and will not be enacted until next year at the earliest.
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The move takes place against the backdrop of the country's decision to leave the European Union in last year's referendum.
Justifying the decision, Mrs May said: "The country is coming together but Westminster is not."
She said the "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".
Explaining her change of heart on an early election, Mrs May said: "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the news.
He said in a statement: "I welcome the Prime Minister's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
"Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
"In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain."
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