General elections should be about everything that affects our lives – our schools, housing, the NHS, poverty, homelessness, the climate emergency – not about a single issue like Brexit. Ben Bradshaw
I am very sorry we are having to go through another general election and one in the middle of winter.
This was not my choice. I do not believe a general election is the right or democratically legitimate way to resolve the Brexit crisis.
General elections should be about everything that affects our lives – our schools, housing, the NHS, poverty, homelessness, the climate emergency – not about a single issue like Brexit.
In this election there is the danger of the most right-wing Conservative Government in our lifetimes being elected on less than 40% of the vote and then dragging us out of the European Union in a disastrous hard or no-deal Brexit.
That is why I would have rather seen a final say on Johnson’s Brexit deal and then an election.
But as soon as the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists in Parliament changed their minds and backed Johnson’s December election, it was inevitable, and this will be the most important election of our lifetimes.
The choice of a Johnson Tory Government hell-bent on a hard or crash-out Brexit, with all of the damage that would do to our economy and public services, or a Labour or Labour-led Government committed to giving the people the final say on Brexit, rebuilding our public services after nine years of Tory cuts and taking meaningful action to tackle the Climate Emergency.
Parliamentary contests in Exeter have always been between Labour and the Tories. Exeter had a Conservative MP before I won the seat in 1997 and in 2010 my majority was just 2,000. Opinion polls suggest the result in Exeter could be close again.
The Liberal Democrats have withdrawn their candidate here in recognition they can’t win and are campaigning in support of Sarah Wollaston in Totnes instead. It is only by voting for me in Exeter that you can be sure to stop a hard or no-deal Brexit supporting Conservative MP taking the seat.
I hope you will also support me based on my record of delivery for Exeter over the last 22 years and on the fact that I am an independently minded MP who will always put Exeter’s interests first and not just toe the Party line.
I am extremely grateful for all the messages of support I have already received, not just from life-long Labour voters, but from people who traditionally vote Liberal Democrat, Green and from moderate Conservatives.
I look forward to meeting as many constituents as I can between now and December 12th, but if you have any questions you would like to ask me between now and then please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.