POLITICAL parties across Wyre Forest are getting ready for battle in the unexpected general election in June.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday (April 18) that the country will go to the parliamentary polls again on June 8.
Parties will now go through the process of quickly selecting candidates to challenge Wyre Forest’s Conservative MP Mark Garnier, who was voted in for a second term in 2015 with a majority of almost 13,000.
Mr Garnier said: “I am pleased that we are tackling this. I’m looking forward to standing again in Wyre Forest to continue the work we have been doing, bringing more jobs and opportunity to the district.
“We are delivering Brexit and Wyre Forest asked 63 per cent for Brexit.
“I play my part in the process as an international trade minister, responding directly to the calls of Wyre Forest to deliver a truly global Britain post Article 50 negotiations.”
Former Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor, of Health Concern said it was unlikely he will stand again but didn’t rule it out completely.
He said: “I’m not at all surprised this has been called given the opposition is in chaos and so it is the obvious thing to do.
“We will be getting together as a party to discuss the situation. It is unlikely I will stand as I’m 82 and I think I have done my bit. But I’m not saying that I definitely won’t.”
Wyre Forest Labour group leader Nigel Knowles said: “I’m pleased the election has been called as it will settle the issue of Brexit.
“We will be campaigning on issues important to Wyre Forest such as the NHS, housing, employment and investment.”
His colleague Stephen Brown added: “I think Theresa May is a fraud and opportunist. She has gone back on issues such as the constitutional five year term of office and Brexit when she campaigned hard for Remain.”
Liberal Democrat Fran Oborski said: “We are delighted that Theresa May has given us the opportunity to stand up at a General Election for all those people who, while accepting the outcome of the EU Referendum, completely reject her decision to go for the hardest possible Brexit which will tear us out of the Single Market and Customs Union.
“We are committed to ensuring that the British people should have the final say on whether to accept or reject whatever final deal emerges from the Brexit Negotiations.”
A spokesman for Wyre Forest Green Party said: “The people of Wyre Forest can vote to stick with a government determined to throw the country over the Brexit cliff edge, or they can vote for a more positive vision of a different kind of Britain.
“We can put a full stop to the politics of division and hatred that has so damaged our communities, and together we can begin the real work of building another, greener, future for Britain.”
UKIP MEP James Carver said: “I am surprised the PM has called this election but it is clearly an indication that she believes a large proportion of MPs are choosing to ignore the will of the people who voted in last year's referendum.
“For UKIP it will be a chance for my party to underline its relevance which has been continually questioned since the Brexit vote.
“Personally speaking, I am considering my options, having already been approached to stand in a number of constituencies, but it's too early to make a decision.”