The below is a response I sent to constituents about the prospects of a general election, in October 2022:
Thank you for contacting me about the recent resignation of the Liz Truss and the appointment of Rishi Sunak as the UKs new Prime Minister.
Many emails we are receiving rightly demanding an election say it is only ‘MPs like me that can call one’. That is not the case. The power to call an election lies solely with the Prime Minister and Government MPs. There is no mechanism for an Opposition MP to call an election while the government has a majority of 80. Here is Sir Keir Starmer’s statement on the matter.
You can sign our petition for a General Election here:
Over the last few weeks in Parliament, even by their standards, we witnessed a new chaotic low. All the failures of the last 12 years have come to the boil and it’s clear that the Tories lack the basic duty to keep the British people out of their own pathetic squabbles. There is now a large Tory Party premium on everyone’s mortgage, borrowing and living costs. It is unforgivable.
Far from a government of all the talents, Sunak’s cabinet is a coalition of factions and failure. The Tories have put Party first and country second. The country needs a fresh start not a pick-and-mix of Cabinet Ministers from the last 12 years of Tory government. Just a few hours after he said his government would have “integrity….at every level”, Sunak rehired Suella Braverman as Home Secretary after she resigned for security breaches.
The Labour Party is also demanding urgent answers on the potentially market sensitive nature of the data leak from the Home Secretary last week, as it emerged that this may have contained information regarding crucial government immigration policy which could have an impact on the upcoming forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
We need urgent reassurances now that no market sensitive data was leaked, that the government has not undermined the Office for Budget Responsibility further, and that the Home Secretary will never be linked to a leak like this again.
We need a general election now and this is something that I, and my colleagues have been calling for some time and I will be calling for it at every opportunity, as I have been doing on the media for the last few weeks. It was our Labour Party motion to continue the ban on fracking that brought the leadership of Liz Truss to its end, and we will continue to do all we can to bring about an election.
The country is in an economic crisis caused by the actions of those in Downing Street. As a result of the Government losing all its credibility, public borrowing costs have soared, mortgage rates have ballooned and there is long-term damage that cannot be undone. Working people have been left to pay and wondering if they can afford to stay in their homes.
Liz Truss has only been replaced by another Conservative more interested in their own career than the economic and cost of living crisis engulfing the country and harming working people and pensioners.
Many constituents have demanded to know why a Vote of No Confidence hasn’t been put down on the government. There is a simple reason for this, you only use this mechanism if you know you can win the vote otherwise it can be counterproductive. The evidence of this is clear from the night before Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister. Labour constructed an opposition motion that would have brought back the ban on fracking. The government turned it into a vote of confidence in Truss as PM and not a single Conservative MP voted against the government. When the polls are as they are the Turkeys will not vote for Christmas in any circumstances so a Vote of No Confidence is something we will save for when we know we can win it.
Keir Starmer has been clear that a General Election is the only option now open to the government to restore trust in our politics.