‘A very different election ahead’ – local MPs react to General Election call

MP Roger Mullin
MP Roger Mullin

Fife’s MPs are gearing up to hit the campaign trail following the snap decision to call a General Election.

Theresa May, Prime Minister, announced this morning (Tuesday) that the country would go to the polls on June 8.

That put all parties on an instant election footing at a time when they are also focussed on the Scottish local government elections on May 4.

Mr Mullin said: “It’s clear that the Prime Minister thinks it is the time for a General Election.

‘‘It will be a very different election from previous ones. In Scotland it is to be a clear contest between the very different SNP and Tory visions for the future of Scotland.

“I have already indicated that if local party members wish me to be the candidate I am ready to lead our campaign in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.”

Mr Mullin won the seat in 2015, taking it from Labour after Gordon Brown stood down.

He took 52 per cent of the vote as the SNP won what had been regarded as one of Labour’s safest seats.

Commenting on the announcement, North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: “This is a huge U-turn by the Prime Minister who is clearly more determined to pursue the political interests of her party and their increasingly right-wing agenda, than the interests of people across the UK.

“We already know she is intent on dragging Scotland out of the European Union against our will to pursue Brexit at all costs. A General Election gives Scotland the opportunity to stand against an austerity-obsessed Tory Party driven by unfair and divisive policies. Along with my SNP colleagues at Westminster and in the Scottish Government, I will continue to stand up for the kind of country we want Scotland to be.

“For me this is about continuing to work hard for north east Fife, campaigning against a UK Government which continues to target the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and to oppose unfair policies like the rape clause and changes to women’s pensions.

“I will also continue to work hard to oppose a hard Tory Brexit and the impact that will have on this area: on the University of St Andrews, which as the largest employer in the area makes a massive contribution to the local economy and culture as well as carrying out world-leading research with European partners, and to support our hugely important food and drink industry which not only provides employment but has also put north east Fife on the global stage.

“The SNP will always put the people of Scotland first - and between now and June 8 I will work harder than ever to retain the trust of the people of North East Fife. “

Speaking outside Number 10, the Prime Minister said the Cabinet had agreed to call an early election. The move takes place against the backdrop of the country’s decision to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum.

Mrs May said: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not.”

She added: “We need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done, while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.”