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MPs vote overwhelmingly for snap election

By Maryam Cockar

Date: Wednesday 19 Apr 2017

MPs vote overwhelmingly for snap election

(ShareCast News) - MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding the early election on 8 June.
On Wednesday MPs voted by 522 to 13, a majority of 509 to hold the next election in seven weeks time.

The nine Labour MPs who voted against the snap election were Ronnie Campbell, Ann Clwyd, Paul Farrelly, Jim Fitzpatrick, Clive Lewis, Fiona Mactaggart, Liz McInnes, Dennis Skinner and Graham Stringer.

Three independent MPs, Lady Hermo, Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson and one from SDLP, Alasdair McDonnell also voted against the election.

The two tellers for the Noes were SDLP MPs, Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan.

This was well above the two-thirds majority the government needed under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which was introduced in 2010 by the Coalition government.

The next general election was to be held in 2020 and Prime Minister Theresa May had insisted that she would not call an early vote, but on Tuesday said she needed to in order to "strengthen her hand" in Brexit negotiations and accused opposition parties of "frustrating" the Brexit process.

The Prime Minister's announcement was unexpected as MPs were preparing for upcoming local elections and the by-election in Manchester Gorton on 4 May.

Joanne Roney, Manchester's acting returning officer, said she did not have the legal power to call off the by-election.

"Since the prime minister's announcement yesterday regarding a general election on 8 June, we have been in active discussions with government and the Electoral Commission about the implications for the Manchester Gorton parliamentary by-election given parliament would be dissolved by the date of poll.

"Legal advice has confirmed that as (acting) returning officer I have no power in law to cancel the by-election in these circumstances".

She said this has be raised with parliamentary authorities to clarify the by-election "as a matter of urgency".

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